Three Die in Texas as Freezing Rain, Floods Hit Central US

28 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

At least two dead amid flash flooding in Texas.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — At least three people have died in fast-moving floodwaters in Texas as freezing rain and flooding pummeled the state and other parts of the central U.S. on Friday, with forecasters warning that the chilling weather would worsen over the holiday weekend.Rising floodwaters claimed the lives of two motorists who attempted to drive through high water in Johnson County, Texas, according to the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth.The driver is still missing at this time and the Fort Worth Fire Department says the search for her is on hold until possibly Saturday morning due to high, fast-moving water filled with dangerous debris. “As Deputy Salazar approached the vehicle the rain and the water was at such a high rate of flow acorss the roadway as she was attempting to get into carwhere the trapped lady was she herself was swept into the water and taken downstream and lost,” said Terry Grisham, spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. “We feared the worst for deptuty Salazar.” “There was a collective cheer when they heard, ‘Yeah, we may have her,’ and it was a good time,” said Fort Worth Firefighter Kyle Clay. “But it’s still very sad that we got somebody that is still out there.” “We knew when we answered the 911 call that there was a life in danger and when Deputy Salazar arrived at scene she saw immediately that there was a life in danger so she put her own life on the line to try to do the rescue,” Grisham said. “While we are thanking God for our prayers being answered that Deputy Salazar has been found alive and we believe will recover, our thoughts and prayers are still with the familyand the lady who is still trapped in the vehicle.” (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc.

In Tarrant County, a sheriff’s deputy was rescued by Fort Worth firefighters after she tried to assist a 70-year-old motorist whose car was lifted off a bridge by the flooding. Deputy Krystal Salazar, 26, was found clinging to a tree two hours after she attempted to rescue the stranded senior, who is currently considered missing. In North Texas, where more than 4 inches of rain fell overnight in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — pushing the annual rainfall total into the record books — three people died in separate accidents after being washed away in rapid floodwaters. Firefighters in Garland, a Dallas suburb, found the body of a 29-year-old man inside a submerged Hyundai Elantra after the car was swept from a bridge.

Power outages have been announced or warned of in areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. “There’s a pretty substantial shield of rain extending from parts of Texas across a lot of Oklahoma and into the mid-Mississippi Valley,” John Hart, a meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, told the Associated Press. Two people were rescued, but the third person’s body was later recovered near Mansfield, about 18 miles southeast of Fort Worth, sheriff’s spokesman Tim Jones said. With this holiday weekend storm, cities in the affected area – including Austin and Houston in Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and St. Louis, Missouri – have reached or could reach yearly rainfall totals that put 2015 within their top ten wettest years on record, the Weather Channel reported. A search and rescue team was called to the scene​ about 8:30 a.m., but had to wait for the water​ level​ to ​decrease before checking on the car.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman said it wasn’t clear what role the wet roads had on a collision Friday afternoon on a U.S. highway in South Dallas in which two children were killed. Still, about 100 crashes had been reported as of Friday evening, said Trooper Cindy Barkley of the Texas Department of Public Safety office in Amarillo. State troopers are trained to drive slower in icy conditions, “and I probably drive slower than all of them,” Barkley said. “But we see people passing us all the time. It’s so frustrating.” In Oklahoma, road crews have been applying salt and sand in the Panhandle and northwestern part of the state since Thursday amid an ice storm warning that was in effect until noon Saturday. Rain in the southeast closed some highways because of flooding. “We definitely understand that people travel to see family and friends (for Thanksgiving), and have to travel back home.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning for sections of central and southern Kansas through early Saturday and said up to a quarter inch of sleet and ice could hit the state by Friday night.

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