Devastating Storm Tears Through Texas & Oklahoma

Credit: Flickr

Credit: Flickr

The catastrophic storms have caused many problems these past few weeks for Texas and Oklahoma, but the worst problem that has come from this downpour is the flooding. The death toll from the Texas flooding is still increasing. At least 11 people were killed in Texas, four of them in Houston, according to Texas authorities. It is believed that one of the people might be one of three people who went missing after a large sized boat was capsized, but it has not been confirmed by authorities.

Seven people in Oklahoma died in flooding and storms since Friday, authorities said.In Hays County, about 180 miles west of Houston, officials said two people were dead, and 13 were missing, officials said.

In Wimberley Texas, 8 people were staying in a vacation home until it was washed out by  heavy rain. One of the people described the heavy rain as a “wall of water”, similar to a tsunami, that swept down the Blanco River over the weekend, which was  followed by another wave of heavy rain, according to Hays County Commissioner Will Conley. Early Tuesday, it was reported that 70  homes were destroyed, and another 1,400 properties were damaged in Texas. In Houston, more than 27,000 people are still left without power and the flood waters closed roads including Interstate 10 and Interstate 45 according to authorities.

In Houston, officials believe the number of severely damaged homes could reach 4,000.

Confirmed deaths in Texas include a 14-year-old boy who was found inside a storm drain in Desoto, and a 18 year old girl who was declared homecoming queen and was driving home from her prom in Devine until she was swept off the road by flood waters.  A fourth victim was also found dead in Brays Bayou, according to authorities. Deaths due to the storms were also reported in Milam, Travis and Williamson counties. In Oklahoma 7 people were reported dead throughout last week, including a Claremore firefighter who died during a water rescue, and a 33-year-old woman who died in a storm-related traffic crash in Tulsa. A total of 11 people have died in the state due to storms since May 5, according to Oklahoma authorities.

Extreme droughts over multiple years in Texas, Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas have been linked to what started all this heavy rain. The droughts leaves the soil dry “like concrete,” which usually leads to flood conditions, according to Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. However, the recent flooding in Texas and Oklahoma was likely caused by the continuous rainfall, which includes 12 to 16 inches of abnormal downpour in the past 30 days, Svoboda said. “The soil is too full. It’s over-saturated with water,” he said. “There’s been too much, too soon, after you’ve had so little for such a long period of time.” People throughout Texas and Oklahoma have been advised to either stay in there homes or go to their nearest storm shelter depending on there situation for the next couple of days. There hasn’t been a definite date reported of when the flooding will end, but Texas reporters say this tragedy is far from over.

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