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Dallas County Judge, FEMA Assess Recent Flood Damage In The Field

Judge Clay Jenkins is live tweeting his assessment of the recent storm and flood damage throughout the day in various towns of Dallas County.

Jenkins went out with members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Dallas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management to residential areas and businesses. The team began the day in Grand Prairie and have continued on to Garland, Irving, Coppell, Carrollton and Mesquite. 

Monday, Jenkins and the team will review damage to public parks and roads, according to an interview with KERA News reporter, Stella Chavez. 

Jenkins says he's seen "significant" damage so far, with water lines close to 6 feet high on the walls of some homes. 

"We're trying to show a certain threshold of damage that will open up a presidential declaration to get our citizens reimbursement and more help," Jenkins said. 

Jenkins says seeing the damage is "heartbreaking."

Three feet of water costs thousands in damages

Chavez also spoke with Garland council member and resident, Billy Mack Williams. He and his wife were in their home during the major flooding two weeks ago when water started coming in his back door, he says. 

Credit Stella Chavez / KERA News
Billy Mack Williams, a longtime Garland resident and council member, stands outside his home.

They had to reach higher ground in their attic and stayed there for two and a half hours, he says. They soon saw their furniture floating around because 3.5 feet of water had made it inside, he says. 

Williams with the help of some friends have cleared about 75 percent of the house. He estimates about a $100,000 loss. Luckily, he has flood insurance.

Credit Stella Chavez / KERA News
Billy Mack Williams' kitchen after flood damage from storms two weeks ago.

Because they live in a flood zone, with Duck Creek behind the house, the threat of flooding is always present with heavy rains. The house flooded before he bought it in 1991 and again in 2006, he says. 

"One inch [of water] is way too much in a house." 

Here are few photos Jenkins has taken of water damage:

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.