Flooded Interstate 45 backs up traffic 12 miles in North Texas

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Saturday, October 24, 2015
A Dallas Fire Rescue responder checks a stalled vehicle Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Dallas. Millions braced for storms that could spin off from massive Hurricane Patricia.
A Dallas Fire Rescue responder checks a stalled vehicle Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Dallas. Millions braced for storms that could spin off from massive Hurricane Patricia.
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez-AP

DALLAS, TX (KTRK) -- Floodwaters on a North Texas interstate have backed up traffic for 12 miles, prompting emergency responders to begin relief efforts.

The flood on Interstate 45 near Corsicana, 50 miles south of Dallas, comes from a day of heavy rain that dropped more than 13 inches of rain Friday.

A statement from the Texas Department of Transportation says emergency crews are working to help the stalled traffic off the flooded highway. Relief efforts also are underway on other flooded roadways n the Corsicana area.

State crews are urging motorists traveling between Houston and Dallas to avoid the area and take alternate routes.

Many parts of Texas could see upward of 12 inches of rain by early Saturday.

Gov. Greg Abbott is ramping up state emergency response, elevating activation of the Texas State Operations Center and approved the use of state resources for rapid deployment to assist local officials.

In a release, Abbott said, "Today's elevated activation of the State Operations Center (SOC) will better equip first responders and local officials with the resources needed to combat inclement weather expected over the weekend. The State of Texas stands ready to provide support to communities as needed, and I urge all Texans to closely monitor changing weather conditions in their area and heed warnings from local and state officials."

In preparation for these storms, Abbott's office says the SOC - in coordination with several state agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service/Texas Task Force 1, and Texas Military Forces - will continue to monitor weather conditions and maintain close contact with National Weather Service local forecast offices across the state.

Abbott's office lists these resources now available to assist Texans, as needed:

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS): Texas Highway Patrol personnel and aircraft are activated and will provided assistance as needed, including rescue efforts.

2-1-1: Personnel will be monitoring school late openings, closures, and providing information to callers as needed.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD): Game Wardens in all regions of the state are on alert for the possibility of flash flooding/water rescue events and deployment.

Texas Military Forces (TMF): TMF is providing aircraft, high-profile vehicles, and personnel to support flooding-assistance efforts in impacted areas.

Texas Task Force 1 (TTF1): Activated and ready with boat rescue squads for rapid deployment.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT): TxDOT crews are prepared to respond to flooding conditions with barricades, water pumps and heavy equipment.

Officials are concerned the current system will be followed by the wet remnants of powerful Hurricane Patricia, which is now approaching the west coast of Mexico.

The systems will bring the most rain the state has seen since the devastating Memorial Day weekend flooding that led to at least 30 deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.