More Bodies Found as Texas Flood Waters Subside

Photo: Breitbart Texas/Lana Shadwick

There have been at least 24 deaths in Texas since historic flooding began in the Lone Star State just before Memorial Day. About fourteen people across the state are still missing.

According to The Weather Channel, May was the wettest single month on record in the state. Texas has been hit with a statewide average of 7.54 inches of rain in May, topping the record of 6.66 inches of rain set in June 2004.

Rainfall records have been set during the month in Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville, Childress, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Wichita Falls, Texas.

Del Rio, Houston, San Antonio, and Lubbock, all came very close to breaking records.

Houston has been one of the hardest-hit cities in the state.

According to the Houston Chronicle, nine Houston-area residents have died. A 31-year-old man in a car parked along the entrance ramp to U.S. 59 was found after crews used pumps to get to him. A fisherman’s body was discovered Friday.

On Saturday, Houston was pummeled with more rain, causing street closing and minor flooding in Minute Maid Park during the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox game, but no deaths have been reported.

The body of a 73-year old woman named Alice Tovar was also found in Fort Bend County, a county southwest of Houston. She was on her way to work at a convenience store when her car became submerged in a ditch.

Water levels in the Brazos River, southwest of Houston, prompted a mandatory evacuation of parts of Wharton. Approximately 900 people were forced from their homes. Rosenberg, Texas also called for a mandatory evacuation.

Dallas has been hit with historic levels of rain, causing road flooding and prompting several tense rescues. A man who drowned when his truck overturned in the roads near Dallas has been identified as 47-year-old John Jeffrey Usfrey. Another man’s body was found near the Northwest Highway, but he was not in a vehicle.

According to the National Weather Service, the Trinity River flooded Bristol, Texas on Sunday night, about 30 miles south of Dallas.

West of Dallas and Fort Worth in Parker County, residents in the Horseshoe Bend subdivision sitting on the Brazos River watched floodwaters reach the foundations of some of their homes. The Brazos River Authority closed the Possum Kingdom Lake dam, allowing the river to rise almost three feet above flood stage, according to USA Today.

Breitbart Texas reported that a homecoming queen was on her way home from the prom early Sunday morning when she was swept away and killed by flood waters, about 35 miles from San Antonio, and just miles away from her home of Devine, Texas. Her body has now been recovered.

There have been six bodies found along the Blanco River in Central Texas, with at least five more people missing. Over 300 homes in the area have been swept away by the flood waters.

Breitbart Texas reported that a family and their friends were swept away by flash floods after their vacation home in Wimberley, Texas was ripped from its foundation by a 25-30 foot wall of water. The McCombs were vacationing with two other families. Six-year-old Jonathan Andrew McComb’s body was identified Friday. His mother, Laura McComb, and his 4-year old sister, Leighton, have not been identified.

The bodies of two women were recovered in the Wimberley area on Saturday, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Friday evening, officials identified 73-year-old Ralph Hugh Carey, whose body was recovered near the Blanco River in San Marcos on Thursday. San Marcus is 47 miles northeast of San Antonio, and 29 miles southwest of Austin.

The President of the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Curtis B. Beitel, told Texas Public Radio that the state has no centralized flood-control program. Flood control is left to local governments. “Fundamentally, flood plain decisions are local property decisions.” He continued, “And here in Texas, local property rights tend to have a very high priority. That’s what has resulted in some of the decisions in the past to develop areas that are down close to the flood plain.”

Late Friday, President Barack Obama issued a disaster declaration for Texas after Governor Greg Abbott requested that he do so. Federal aid will be available for designated counties in the state.

The state is expected to experience dry conditions during the first week in June.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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