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USA – 6 dead as historic Texas flooding worsens

Authorities in central Texas have found two more bodies along flooded streams, bringing the death toll from flooding in the state to six.

It was unclear late on Sunday whether a body found in Travis County near Austin was one of the two people still missing in Texas. An 11-year-old boy was still missing in central Kansas.

The latest flooding victim identified by authorities was a woman who died when the car she was riding in was swept from the street by the flooded Cypress Creek about 1.30am 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 Daly said 23-year-old Florida Molima was missing until her body was found around 11am, about eight miles downstream.

In Bandera, about 45 miles north-west of San Antonio, an estimated 10in of rain overnight led to the rescue of nine people. The rain caused widespread damage, including the collapse of the roof of the Bandera Bulletin, the weekly newspaper, KSAT-TV in San Antonio reported. Photos from the area showed campers and trailers stacked against each other, but no injuries were reported.

Torrential rains caused heavy flash flooding in some parts of the US and led to numerous evacuations in south-east Texas, including at two prisons. 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 county helicopter found a body on Sunday on the north end of a retention pond near the Circuit of the Americas auto racing track, which is close to where two people were reported to have been washed away by a flash flood early on Friday, Lisa Block, a Travis County sheriff’s spokesperson, said. The body still had to be recovered and no identification had been made.

To the south-east, along the rain-swollen Brazos river near Houston, prison officials evacuated about 2,600 inmates to other state prisons because of expected flooding, a Texas department of criminal justice spokesman said. Inmates in a low-level security camp at a third prison in the area were being moved to the main prison building, Jason Clark added.

All three prisons affected 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,” Clark said, noting that additional food and water had been delivered to prisons that were getting the displaced inmates and sandbags had been filled and delivered to prisons where flooding is anticipated.

In Kansas, the search for the missing 11-year-old continued on Sunday and expanded beyond the swollen creek he fell into on Friday night, according to Scott Brown of the Wichita fire department.

“We are more in body-recovery mode than rescue,” Brown said.

Four people died from flooding in rural Washington County, Texas, located between Austin and Houston, where more than 16.5in of rain fell in some places on Thursday and Friday. The bodies of two missing motorists were found on Saturday in separate parts of the county, according to Judge John Brieden.

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

Forecasters said up to 8in of rain had fallen in parts of southern South Carolina. About 3in fell in Charleston in 24 hours and more was expected, according to the National Weather Service.



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