Wednesday 18 January 2017

Texas floods: Two more bodies found as boy (11) who fell into swollen creek still missing

Published 30/05/2016 | 07:25

David Goldstein, a construction inspector with Texas Deptartmen of Trasnsportation, looks over the damage to the FM 2104 bridge over Pin Oak Creek near Smithville, Texas (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
David Goldstein, a construction inspector with Texas Deptartmen of Trasnsportation, looks over the damage to the FM 2104 bridge over Pin Oak Creek near Smithville, Texas (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Brazos County Sheriff Deputy Junior Tucker clears flood debris from the FM 2104 bridge over Pin Oak Creek near Smithville, Texas (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
A car and home sit in flood water from Spring Creek along North Ravenswood Drive (Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Two people pilot a boat through the flooded Brazos River on Sunday (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Two more bodies were found in central Texas, bringing the death toll from flooding in the state to six.

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Meanwhile an 11-year-old boy is still missing in central Kansas, as torrential rain caused heavy flash flooding across parts of the US.

The latest flooding victim identified in Texas was a woman who died when the car she was travelling in was swept from the street by the flooded Cypress Creek about 1:30am local time on Sunday, Kendall County sheriff's Corporal Reid Daly said.

The car, with three occupants, was in Comfort, about 45 miles north of San Antonio. The driver made it to shore, and a female passenger was rescued from a tree. But 23-year-old Florida Molima was missing until her body was found 10 hours later about eight miles downstream.

In Bandera, about 45 miles north-west of San Antonio, an estimated 10 inches of rain overnight led to the rescues of nine people.

The deluge caused widespread damage, including the collapse of the roof of the Bandera Bulletin, the weekly newspaper, KSAT-TV in San Antonio reported.

The heavy rains led to numerous evacuations in south-east Texas, including two prisons. But the threat of severe weather has lessened over the long Memorial Day holiday for many places, though Tropical Depression Bonnie continued to bring rain and wind to North and South Carolina.

Near Austin, a crew aboard a helicopter found a body near the Circuit of the Americas motor racing track, which is close to where two people were reported to have been washed away by a flash flood early on Friday.

To the south-east along the rain-swollen Brazos River near Houston, prison officials evacuated about 2,600 inmates from two prisons to other state jails because of expected flooding.

Texas department of criminal justice spokesman Jason Clark said inmates in a low-level security camp at a third prison in the area are being moved to the main prison building.

All three prisons are in coastal Brazoria County, where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

"TDCJ officials continue to monitor the situation and are working with our state partners as the river level rises," Mr Clark said, noting that additional food and water has been delivered to prisons that are getting the displaced inmates and sandbags have been filled and delivered to the prisons where flooding is anticipated.

In Kansas, the search for the missing 11-year-old has been expanded beyond the swollen creek he fell into on Friday night, according to Wichita Fire Department battalion chief Scott Brown. "We are more in body-recovery mode than rescue," he said.

Four people died from flooding in rural Washington County, Texas, located between Austin and Houston, where more than 16.5 inches of rain fell in some places on Thursday and Friday.

Tropical Depression Bonnie reached the South Carolina coast on Sunday, bringing heavy rain and rough tides to an area packed with tourists for the Memorial Day weekend.

Forecasters say up to 8 inches of rain have fallen in parts of southern South Carolina.

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