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2 dead, 3 missing in flood-related incidents in Texas

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Posted at 3:20 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 17:20:29-04

By Ralph Ellis, Madison Park and Dave Alsup

CNN

(CNN) — Two people have died in flood-related incidents in southeast Texas, authorities said Friday.

In Brenham, a person found dead in a mobile home is believed to have drowned, said police spokeswoman Angela Hahn. A second person found dead in a vehicle swept away by floodwaters is thought to have died of a heart attack, Hahn said.

Another person is missing in Brenham. In Travis County, two people are missing, said Travis County Emergency Management spokeswoman Lisa Block.

Flash-flood emergencies are in effect Friday for much of southeast Texas after it received more than 16 inches of rain the day before.

Dozens of people had to be rescued after they became trapped in cars and flooded homes. People attempting to watch the flooding had to be rescued, the National Weather Service said.

‘I heard a loud thud’

Judge Paul Pape said more than 100 homes flooded in Bastrop County, forcing at least 50 families into shelters. Pape said the Colorado River is expected to crest around 8 to 9 feet above flood stage Friday afternoon and may cause more evacuations.

The storm felled numerous trees. In Conroe, Mark Moore told CNN affiliate KTRK-TV a tree crashed through his roof and landed a few feet from where he sat on a bed.

“I heard a loud thud,” he told the Houston station. “Everything was calm and then it just, boom.”

The tree took down an awning on his back porch, where his four grandchildren had been playing about 15 minutes earlier.

Also in Brenham, some children had to spend the night at school because high water made roads impassable to school buses and parents’ vehicles. The school district canceled Friday classes.

‘Very bad luck’

CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen predicted heavy rain and storms throughout the area, with 3 to 6 inches of rain in some spots. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for communities along the Colorado River.

Radar shows a heavy downpour of rain moving through the area, continuing a week of a dark and stormy weather over a swath of the Plains. The streak of heavy thunderstorms, hail, flooding and tornadoes began Monday.

Southeast Texas has been pounded with horrific weather lately, with two 500-year flood events in two months.

“Basically, it’s a 1-in-500 chance of it happening in any year,” said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward. “Happening twice in a single year is very bad luck.”

The Houston area experienced its wettest April on record last month, with almost 14 inches of rain. The storm killed at least eight people in Texas and flooded 1,000 homes. The previous record was almost 11 inches in April 1976.

The 16-17 inches of rain recorded Thursday also qualifies as a 500-year event, Ward said.

Not to forget the deadly storms of May 2015, which killed at least 22 people in Texas.

‘Low grade’ tornado reported

Thunderstorms have affected parts of Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, closing down roads and leaving residents stranded.

“We’ve probably had well over 100 rescues of people from cars,” said Darren Hess, deputy emergency management coordinator for Montgomery County, Texas. So far there are no reports of injuries, he said.

A “low grade” tornado ripped through parts of Brazos County about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. No one was reported injured, but several buildings suffered roof damage and trees were uprooted, according to the county’s emergency management office.

Delays at airports

The stormy weather caused disruptions at least two airports. On Thursday, passengers evacuated Kansas City International Airport in Missouri due to a tornado warning.

David Enarson was traveling home to Chicago when a storm hit. He said people were calm and they were evacuated to tunnels for about 35 to 40 minutes. The airport’s marketing manager tweeted that people were in garage tunnels to keep safe.

After they were given the all-clear, the security line was long as passengers headed back to board their flights, Enarson said.

In another disruption, Denver International Airport had a ground stop on flights after a thunderstorm. The runways had to be cleared of hail before air traffic could get moving again.

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger, Tiffany Ap, Shawn Nottingham and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.