The Latest on Texas storms: 3 tornadoes hit Houston area

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 dead, 2 missing in Texas floods from storms now moving across Louisiana.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Another round of storms and strong winds moved east across Texas on Saturday, with a possible tornado causing damage and injuries near Houston. It’s the second day of turbulent weather in the state, where at least two people died in flood waters on Friday in central Texas and two were still missing from flash floods in the Austin area.BUDA, Texas — Punishing storms and suspected tornadoes Friday socked an already sodden swath of Texas that was still drying out from the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, forcing evacuations and shutting down a gridlocked 10-mile stretch of interstate.

In the Houston area, up to 7 inches of rain had fallen since Friday night and the resulting flooding suspended public transportation, and a Harris County official said a tornado had been reported in the south part of the county, and officials were checking on any possible damage there. A lazy creek cutting through Texas wine country swelled into a rushing torrent, sending eight members of a vacationing church group scrambling to a second floor and awaiting rescue from the National Guard. The National Weather Service also issued a flash flood watch for areas near Houston, Galveston, Bryan, College Station, Tyler and Texarkana until Saturday afternoon. In the San Antonio area, four special needs students and two adults were rescued from a bus that became trapped in floodwaters just after 7 a.m., the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said. Abandoned cars, many submerged in water, littered backroads that weary drivers risked after heavy downpours flooded Interstate 35 between San Antonio and Austin.

Homes were ordered evacuated along the San Marcos and Blanco rivers, authorities said.The Blanco River, where a house with nine people inside was swept away in May, surged to more than 26 feet, or 13 feet above flood stage, on Friday. Similar conditions in May — soaking storms on the heels of others — caused devastating flooding on the Blanco River that swept homes from foundations and killed families who were carried downstream. The river later subsided. “We didn’t know where we were going, it was dark — the water was rising so fast,” Kathleen Haney, who was trapped at a bed and breakfast near Wimberley, said. A tornado is also believed to have damaged a high school gymnasium in Floresville, southeast of San Antonio, early Friday, according to The Weather Channel.

Forecasters say an upper-level disturbance from Mexico carried the storms into Texas, and a strong El Nino is expected to make for a wet winter in the U.S. Ruth Veliz, whose parents own a taco shop in town, said one of her employees yelled “Tornado!” and tried to keep the winds from blowing inside before a customer pulled her to safety.

Rescue workers bring out Lana Hauger, 4, right, and Selena Esensee and her son, Loki, 4, not seen, after waters rose around Esensee’s home leaving them unable to get out in the Bluff Springs neighborhood, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 in Austin, Texas. The flooded portion of Interstate 35 was reopened later Friday, but not before southbound drivers turned against traffic and tried driving north along the shoulder. Winds peeled off roofs elsewhere and collapsed a historic 19th-century building in the small town of D’Hanis, one of three cities where suspected tornadoes touched down.

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