Hundreds seek safety from Texas floods

2015-05-29 14:10
(Louis DeLuca, AP)

(Louis DeLuca, AP)

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Austin - Hundreds of people fled areas near Texas Rivers that overflowed their banks on Thursday as the state reeled from severe storms this week that killed at least 17 people, flooded cities and set a record for the wettest month.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch stretching from south of San Antonio to Dallas, through Oklahoma, where severe weather this week killed an additional six people, and into Kansas. Thunderstorms pelted large parts of the affected region.

Teams worked overnight to rescue people affected by the flood waters. Officials said Travis County firefighters saved 21 people from a drifting houseboat while Johnson County emergency workers rescued 14 drivers and residents. No injuries were reported among them.

The city of Wharton, about 100km southwest of Houston, issued a voluntary evacuation notice for about 300 homes along the Colorado River, where water was expected to rise through on Friday.

The Brazos River flooded about 50km west of Fort Worth and was expected to crest on Thursday evening. Hundreds left their homes on Wednesday as the waterway began breaching its banks, Parker County officials said.

State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said the average rainfall across the state was 19cm in May, breaking the record of 17cm set in June 2004, according to records that date to 1895.

"It has been ridiculous," Nielsen-Gammon said.

The body of a man was found on the banks of the Blanco River in San Marcos, authorities said on Thursday, bringing the number of fatalities to at least 17.

The man, who was discovered among flood debris, was not yet identified, according to Hays County officials.

The body of a boy was recovered on Wednesday near San Marcos, Hays County officials said. The boy was thought to have been swept away in Blanco River floods that ripped houses off their foundations.

Read more on:    us  |  weather  |  natural disasters

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