Five stories that have North Texas talking: Serious flooding in Southeast Texas continues; Gov. Abbott’s claim of “rampant” voter fraud in Texas has some holes; Dallas ISD kids talk through issues rather than head to the principal’s office; a Dallas real estate developer is the new “bachelorette”; and more.
The National Weather Service says flooding in Southeast Texas will break at least one record that's stood for more than 100 years, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Part of the Sabine River was forecast to crest to more than 33 feet, breaking the previous record set in 1884. The river in that area begins to flood at 24 feet. Nine spillway gates were open early Tuesday, releasing 67,000 cubic feet per second, according to the weather service.
Last Thursday during heavy rainfall in the region, 207,000 cubic feet was being released, an amount that's approximately the same as what flows over Niagara Falls, the AP reported.
On Tuesday morning, transportation authorities had to briefly shut down I-10 near the Louisiana border. It has has since been reopened, but subsequent closures could happen again on short notice, TxDOT said. Motorists as far away as El Paso were warned to find alternative routes, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The Dallas Morning News reported: “People rushed to fill sandbags to place around their homes Tuesday as authorities warned the Sabine River and other waterways some 100 miles east of Houston will continue to rise.”
Gov. Greg Abbott declared 17 counties disaster areas because of high water from last week’s storms, the AP said. [The Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News]
- After the storm roars through, insurance troubles mount. Even with insurance, storm-related expenses can pile up fast. Rowlett resident Lindsay Diaz knows that firsthand—the duplex she owned was blown apart by the tornadoes tearing through Texas on Dec. 26. Now, she’s trying to juggle a full-time job, a new baby, and the challenge of rebuilding her house and her life. In the latest installment of One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a Life, KERA’s Courtney Collins reports that one big problem for Diaz is underinsurance. [KERA News]
“What should I do with the money I get from the insurance?” Diaz asks. “Should I pay the mortgage? Should I use the rest of the money to repair, which is not going to be enough? I’m homeless. I don’t have a home and I need to figure out what I’m going to do to get it back.”
- Gov. Greg Abbott’s claim that voter fraud is “rampant,” doesn’t have much evidence to back it up. Abbott responded to President Obama’s critique of the state’s low voter turnout by saying, “In Texas, unlike some other states and unlike some other leaders, we are committed to cracking down on voter fraud.” He also mentioned turnout in this month’s two party primaries combined was higher, in raw numbers, than ever before. The Texas Tribune reported: “That’s true — and also incomplete. Almost 30,000 more people showed up to vote in the 2016 primaries than in the 2008 primaries. But there are almost 1.5 million more registered voters now than there were eight years ago, according to the Texas Secretary of State. Turnout this year was 30 percent. Turnout in 2008 was 33.2 percent.” Read more. [The Texas Tribune]
- The Dallas Independent School District is trying out a new approach to discipline in six of its schools — restorative discipline. Instead of sending kids to the principal’s office straight away, teachers are encouraging students to talk through their issues with each other. KERA’s Stella M. Chavez reported: “Not long ago, zero tolerance was a popular way to discipline students. But studies show minority students are suspended or expelled at rates higher than white students. This new approach aims to tackle problems before they blow up into bad behavior.” The Dallas school district launched its restorative discipline pilot program last fall. It's at two elementary schools and four middle schools, including Medrano. Read more. [KERA News]
- Bouncing back from televised rejection, a Dallas real estate developer will break hearts, and hopefully, find love as next “Bachelorette.” In the upcoming 12th season of the show, Dallas’ JoJo Fletcher will have her pick of 20-plus men, which might soften the blow The Bachelor’s Ben Higgins doled out Monday night. GuideLive reported: Higgins let the "L" word slip with both finalists, Dallas real estate developer JoJo Fletcher and Portland flight attendant Lauren Bushnell, which is considered a major faux pas in Bachelor-land. Case in point: Higgins spent Monday night's finale reeling from the fall out.” Fletcher confronted Higgins about the breakup in the season’s “After the Final Rose” segment, but she eventually wished the couple all the best. When you love someone, let them go. Read more. [GuideLive]