Roads remain closed after northern part of county gets several inches of rain

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Al Key/DRC
Dark clouds loom over the Texas Woman's University towers early Thursday morning after heavy rains fell on the northern side of Denton during the overnight hours July 31, 2014.
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Some county roads remained closed overnight Thursday after parts of the county saw more than 5 inches of rain, officials said.

Rachel Kreidel, an administrative specialist for Denton County Road and Bridge East, said Thursday that Mustang Trail in Sanger, Coffey Road in Aubrey, Shearer Road in Pilot Point and the county roads of North Legacy, Fairfield and Mobberly near Celina and Prosper will remain closed until crews can check on their status this morning.

Eric Martello, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Forth Worth, said the storm blew in about midnight Wednesday and most of the accumulated rainfall had ended by 9 a.m. Thursday.

The northern half of the county saw significant rainfall, Martello said, with rainfall totals reaching 5 inches near Krugerville and 4.33 inches at Clear Creek in Sanger.

“The northeast portion saw several storm cells move through their area,” he said. “Because of the way the grid was, some areas, like into Denton, saw just hundredths of an inch.”

Martello said only 0.06 inches was registered at Denton Enterprise Airport.

“It really just was a mile or two distance sometimes where the cells were,” he said. “Some got it and some didn’t.”

Jody Gonzalez, emergency management coordinator for the county, said the large amount of rainfall prompted officials to shut down northbound Interstate 35 near mile marker 478 twice Wednesday night.

Ryan LaFontaine, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said the department had some trucks assisting the police with the highway closure from 3 to 7 a.m. Thursday.

Martello said flash flood warnings were issued Wednesday night and Thursday morning for the hardest-hit parts of the county.

Rainfall of 2 inches or more can result in runoff that closes some county roads, officials said.

Forecasters are calling for cooler temperatures today with highs in the mid-80s, about 10 degrees below normal.

Martello said more rainfall is needed to pull Denton County out of severe drought conditions.

“It [the rain] was good for parts, but not necessarily all of the county,” he said. “We have another five to six days before any low chances of rain even come back into the forecast.”

MEGAN GRAY-HATFIELD can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.

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