Texas Drowning in 'Relentless Wall of Water'

Flooding toll hits 8, including homecoming queen on way home from prom
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2015 7:01 AM CDT
Updated May 26, 2015 7:18 AM CDT
Texas Drowning in 'Relentless Wall of Water'
A fast moving line of thunderstorms is seen from a neighborhood in Shreveport, La., Monday, May 25, 2015.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Among the latest casualties as Texas endures stunning amounts of rain: Homecoming queen Alyssa Ramirez, who spent Saturday night dancing at her prom. While driving home in Devine, Texas, on Sunday, Ramirez's car stalled in high water and the cheerleader and star athlete was swept away by flood waters, NBC News reports. "She called 911. She called her father, but it was just too much and too quick," the teen's aunt says. Her body was found a short distance from the road. Days before she died, Ramirez posted this quote online: "Even though it is never pleasant to experience hardship, it teaches us to persevere and to cling to God. He will never desert us." More on the flooding:

  • Flash-flood watches and warnings have been issued in eight states as 30 million Americans are bracing for thunderstorms that could bring flooding, hail, and even tornadoes as far north as Chicago and Milwaukee, NBC News reports. Some 19 tornadoes were reported in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi yesterday.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 24 counties, including Houston. He flew over areas south of Austin to assess damage yesterday and tells Reuters, "This is the biggest flood this area of Texas has ever seen." He said the storm was "a relentless wall of water that mowed down huge trees like they were grass."

  • Houston is battling "extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening" conditions with hourly rainfall topping 4 inches at times overnight, the Houston Chronicle reports. Interstates 10 and 45 were closed as rainfall at Houston Intercontinental Airport hit 4.34 inches yesterday, almost doubling the previous record set in 1946. A resident says the storm is "a close second" to 2008's Hurricane Ike. An explainer is here.
  • More than 80,000 people are without power in Houston and several have been stranded throughout the city. About 200 remained at the Toyota Center early today after watching the Rockets play. Knee-high flood waters left others trapped in a mall. "We have tried to make them as comfortable as we can," a security guard says, per NBC News.
  • Eight people have been killed in Texas and Oklahoma since flooding began, including a 14-year-old boy found in a storm drain. Another 12, including two families, are still missing in Wimberley, Texas, after the home they were vacationing in was swept away Sunday.
(More flooding stories.)

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