Ellis County under a flash flood watch until 7 tonight as up to 2 inches of rainfall expected

The next round of showers and thunderstorms is set to hit Ellis County on Thursday afternoon.

As of press time Wednesday, the National Weather Service of Fort Worth has placed Ellis County, along with most of North Texas under a flash flood watch until 7 p.m. Thursday, predicting the weather system could produce heavy rain.

“There is a flash flood watch that is in effect that goes through Thursday and it may end up getting extended,” said Meteorologist Jamie Gudmestad, with the weather service.

Over the next several days, Ellis County could see another 2 inches or so and the next 24 hours may bring another inch, Gudmestad said. As of 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, Ellis County received about 3 or 4 inches or rain.

According to the weather service website, the chance of precipitation is between 60 and 70 percent through at least Friday.

With heavy rain a possibility, Ellis County Commissioners have crews and equipment ready in the event of any flooding. Rains from Tuesday’s storms closed a few roads and left little damage in the county, whereas other areas across North Texas saw drastic flooding with more than 5 inches of rain.

“I was out until about midnight last night (Tuesday). We closed seven roads that were typically flooded roads, when we have this kind of activity. But there were no injuries. There was no property damage. They were just typical roads that we are prepared to see water come over when we have these rain events,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Lane Grayson said. “As far as what is coming up, we are on standby. We have two crews that are on standby waiting for those. We are going to keep those roads that were closed yesterday closed through today (Wednesday) because they will get covered again. We want to encourage people to stay away from those areas.”

Grayson said if rains do become an issue, two work crews are on standby with chain saws to remove fallen trees and another crew to close roads.

The roads that were closed include Walker Creek closed east and west of Farm-to-Market Road 1181, Gin Road, Spence Road, Mach Road, Oil field Road, Pecan Grove Road and Log Cabin Road. Also Wakeland Road will be closed until further notice because of a large washout.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Paul Perry said his precinct experienced intermittent issues from Tuesday’s storm events.

“West and south of Maypearl are continual problems because of drainage out of Johnson County into Chambers Creek. Some of the land use has changed in Johnson County. There have been some bridge changes that results in having us dealing with more debris coming down Chambers Creek,” Perry said. “There is not a lot you can do to fight flooding. We keep extra material on hand to repair after the flooding moves through. You are dealing with tons of flow. This is not something that would be made better by a lot of improvements. The areas that really have problems? It’s not a road drainage issue. It is a Mother Nature issue.”

According to the county website, one of the roads that was closed from downpours Tuesday was the Bee Creek Road bridge. It is a half a mile from Farm-to-Market Road 66 and will be closed until further notice.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Kyle Butler said when the last storms came through this week, his precinct was unaffected.

“The storm that hit [Tuesday] night and the night before last, on Sunday, it kind of missed us. We probably had a dozen trees down in different areas. We got them picked up and we were ready to roll pretty quickly,” Butler said. “At the shop, we have a truck on call and everything in it. We have signs ready to go, cones ready to go. We have even extra help (available) if we get into a big situation. We try to stay prepared 24/7.”

Butler advised residents that if they see water going across the road don’t take a chance by driving through it. Instead turn around and find an alternate route.

The service also has issued a Flood Warning for the Trinity River near Rosser, affecting Ellis and Kaufman counties from Thursday morning to Saturday evening. At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, the river was up to 27.61 feet. Flood stage is 31 feet. The river should rise above flood stage by late Thursday morning and continue to rise to a crest near 33 feet by Friday morning, the warning stated. The river should fall below flood stage by late Saturday morning.

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