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Gov. Abbott declares disaster in 23 counties after widespread flooding

Cars make their way through standing water under an overpass in Dallas.
Rachel Osier Lindley
Severe flooding inundated streets across Dallas and much of the North Texas region as heavy rains fell after a long dry spell.

Governor Greg Abbott signed a disaster declaration on Tuesday for much of the North Texas region.

After a day of heavy rainfall and flooding, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said North Texas faced an "extraordinary challenge."

By noon on Monday, the region saw more than 9 inches of rain in 24 hours. The downpour flooded streets, damaged homes and resulted in at least one fatality.

Sitting alongside Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson at Dallas City Hall Tuesday, Governor Abbott signed a disaster declaration for 23 counties.

“We need to aggregate the damages across the entire region," Abbott said. "Our goal would be to try to have an early assessment of all of those damages by the end of this week.”

Abbott said residents can report any property damage to the Texas Division of Emergency Management's website.

He says a statewide task force, which includes first responders with state and local agencies, will determine if some areas need federal assistance.

Mayor Johnson, who called the storm a once-in-a-thousand-year event, says its effects will linger for some time.

"These impacts are going to be felt all over and throughout our economy," Johnson said. "For those who are just struggling to get by, who are trying to scrimp and save and do everything they can, this flood could be a significant setback for them."

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.