Texas Flood Victim’s Body Found; Pennsylvania Cleanup Begins
Park workers found a woman’s body beneath a bridge Sunday, a day after she was washed away by floodwaters as storms dumped up to five inches of rain on south and central Texas.
The National Weather Service warned of the possibility of more heavy thunderstorms and flash flooding through today for San Antonio, Del Rio and other areas.
In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, rescue workers Sunday searched muddy river banks for more flood victims and National Guard troops used bulldozers to scrape away debris from flooding that killed at least eight people in eight suburban communities in the western part of the state.
“The apparent extent of the damage is severe and widespread,” said state Emergency Management Agency spokesman John Comey, who sent teams from various state agencies to inspect the affected areas.
“One of our deputies came back from the scene and he was just shellshocked. He said it was unreal,” said Jerry Wienand, an Allegheny County deputy coroner.
Wienand said his office had identified the eight known victims, all of whom died of drowning, but he said he feared more bodies would be found.
“We have reports of vehicles being discovered that are registered to people who can’t be located,” Wienand said. “People have given us descriptions of some of those who are missing.”
In El Paso, tornadolike winds uprooted trees, broke windows and brought down power lines Saturday, while wind and rain thwarted 15 attempts by a helicopter crew to enthrone the new Goddess of Liberty statue atop the Capitol in Austin.
The sporadic but heavy rains that continued Sunday were expected to cause more flooding problems from El Paso to Longview, an area already saturated from rains that began a week ago.
The body of the young woman found by San Antonio park workers early Sunday reportedly had been swept along the San Antonio River.
The storm, which dumped up to five inches of rain on San Antonio, also sent Leon and Culebra creeks and many other small streams racing out of their banks to snare motorists and their vehicles in a raging rush of water.
A high school student was swept off a road into Leon Creek and spent nearly an hour clinging to tree branches before being rescued by firefighters.
On another stretch of the same creek, a helicopter rescued a truck driver from the top of his tractor-trailer, which had stalled in water.
Heavy thunderstorms dumped up to four inches of rain in the Del Rio area on the Mexican border, sending water almost four feet above two bridges, flooding streets and stranding motorists.
In El Paso, hail up to two inches in diameter pounded the area as high winds uprooted at least 10 trees, officials said. No one was injured.