Photo courtesy Zillow

Photo courtesy Zillow

Update: I’m hearing multiple reports from residents and people who live and work near vantage points for the top of the parking garage who are saying that a contractor had been storing fill dirt in the area that collapsed.

We are still working on the details, but reports are that part of a parking garage at the Renaissance on Turtle Creek at 3225 Turtle Creek Blvd. has collapsed. After viewing a picture of the actual collapse, I can say it looks like several parking spaces just dropped through several levels of the Turtle Creek garage. It appears that fire and police are on the scene, and search and rescue as well as canine search and rescue are on the scene. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone that might be affected by this pretty scary looking multi-level collapse, and hope that the only things injured are cars.

From Twitter:

Folks, be careful tonight. I can say for sure that there are so many roads (that you wouldn’t even think would flood) are covered over with water. There are many road closures. Once you get home from work, stay home – there’s more coming and the rain is coming down again after that brief break this afternoon.

 

 

Some Houston residents had to canoe through their neighborhoods during recent floods. (Photo: CNN)

Some Texans had to canoe through their neighborhoods during recent floods. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

I grew up north of Houston in a town that straddled Interstate 45 – the preferred thoroughfare for hurricane evacuation from the Bayou City — just a few hundred feet from the San Jacinto River. From an early age, my brother and sisters learned that, while the high winds from a hurricane can pose a significant danger, it was the flooding that caught most people off guard. After riding out several storms and even having evacuated from Hurricane Rosa via National Guard helicopter in 1994 (the only way in and out of our neighborhood was via canoe at that point), I’ve put together a checklist for riding out a tropical storm and surviving a flood.

Of course, not everyone has a canoe or kayak to navigate their neighborhood after the waters rise, there are some ways you can make sure you stay high and dry should severe weather hit your ‘hood.

Jump for more information on sheltering in place in the event of severe weather.

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E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night's storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas.

E. Lake Highlands Drive was washed over by the Dixon Branch as last night’s storm caused flash flooding in areas throughout East Dallas. (Photo: Jo England)

The water flowed swiftly and steadily down the slope of Lake Terrace to E. Lake Highlands Drive, and on toward Dixon Branch, the nearby creek. The waters began to creep up over the banks, and then over the curb, and then covered much of the street. High water had come, but with more rain in the forecast could hell be next?

This wasn’t an uncommon theme last night, as several East Dallas residents dealt with flooding, especially those near creeks and ditches surrounding White Rock Lake Park. While flash flooding in Houston drove home the real danger of getting caught in rising water while in your car, what about those who had never imagined floodwaters invading their normally dry homes?

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A woman and two children inspect the flooded greenbelt at Lawther and Northwest Highway. (Photo: Jo England)

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Access roads from White Rock Lake to Buckner Boulevard were taped off by police as several inches of water covered them. (Photo: Jo England)

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An access road at Buckner Boulevard and Northwest Highway was still under several inches of water after last night’s storm. (Photo: Jo England)

That’s what had Lori Roberts terrified last night, as she watched the drainage culvert near her Casa View Haven home quickly become the kind of crested rapids that rafters love. But then it topped the concrete banks and crept up the street, and then up her driveway, and then perilously close to her home.

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Copperhead

It’s time to buy some Snake-Away, but I think I got the last jug at The Home depot — sorry. I haven’t seen any, but I’m sure they are out there in the tall grass. We have had baby snakes in our house in years past.

But Keller Williams agent Alyssa McKissack tells me she and her hubby, Brad McKissack, went for a run about a week ago in their neighborhood, “… we came around the corner & saw this monster Copperhead just chillin’, then we go over the bridge & look down to see a water moccasin, tonight’s run was done after that… ”

Rat snake

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fin heeelsUpdate, 10:47 p.m.: Virginia Cook agent Angela Downs says she wears these:

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You know, I am beginning to wonder if we need to start changing the way we build our homes to accommodate all this friggin’ rain. We certainly need to change our shoes.

We have a big porch but our grill is in the open, so we had to cook with rain hats on yesterday. Note to self: next home, grill will be covered! I am grateful for my turf-covered doggie yard: next house, the entire YARD will be turf.

I was going to look at a house last week, then heard it was taken off the market because one room got some water in the house. If your home sits low, that can be a problem. We had a home (long gone!) that had a converted garage that did flood a couple of times. I packed towels all around the baseboards. But I never could get that dank smell out until July.

If you are buying, this is probably the best time ever to check out a home. This is unprecedented rainfall, but you will see how the home weathers water, lots of water. See where it flows -away from the house? Any moats in the back-yard?

I went up to tour Windsong Ranch on Friday, and man was it muddy. Looking at real estate just involves mud sometimes. So I have taken these steps: (more…)

Oklahoma house_damage

This was a luncheon I would have liked to attend, but it would have really shaken me up:

Joshua Marrow, technical director for Partner Engineering and Science Inc. who, for years, has studied large seismic events in California and other hot spots around the world including, now, North Texas, spoke to The Dallas Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Wednesday at the Park City’s Club in Preston Center.

While he started by explaining that there are fault lines in North Texas, but they haven’t historically caused felt earthquakes, he ended by saying that could be all wrong. Our area has definitely been movin’ and groovin’ lately… and we wrote about Earthquake insurance way back. (more…)

MCCAULEY RADAR

I know the colors are pretty, but according to meteorologist Steve McCauley, this radar map makes for ugly weather.

UPDATE: Things just got real. The Weather Channel is in Dallas, according to Robert Wilonsky.

WFAA meteorologist Steve McCauley is saying that according to his readings, tomorrow evening’s weather could very well spawn a few tornadoes.

“Obviously, it is impossible to predict where a tornado will touch down this far in advance,” McCauley said in his Facebook post, “but it is likely that our first TORNADO WATCH will be posted for much of north Texas tomorrow afternoon and evening.

We’ve talked about tornado coverage before, and about how to make sure your homeowners insurance policy is up to date, but considering our recent spate of earthquakes, hail storms, and high winds, perhaps it’s time to revisit your coverage again? And have you given a second thought to installing a storm shelter?

Jump to read McCauley’s full post:

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Earthquake damage

We told you all about this last week, day after Quake Day in Dallas. Under Texas law insurance carriers are not required to offer earthquake insurance, and veteran agents say they have never felt the need to write such policies.

This weekend, Pamela Yip at the Dallas Morning News quoted Randall Guttery, director of real estate programs at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Jindal School of Management, as saying earthquake insurance isn’t worth it. I think his quote is classic:

“At some point, you have to self-insure some stuff in your life or you’ll be broke.”

No duh.

Well, a source just read me a memo from a major carrier. Yep, the Texas markets are looking at carrying earthquake insurance, but it will be fluff coverage, kind of like mold. Look for coverage only for a quake of 5.0 on the Richter scale, with 5 to 10% deductibles. I love my homeowners insurance more than you will ever know, but I will not be buying earthquake insurance.

Maybe these Texas earthquakes are just nature’s way of helping us minimize?