Texas Floods 2015 Update: Death Toll Rises to 31 as More Bodies Recovered; Victims Identified

( [email protected] ) Jun 04, 2015 02:44 PM EDT
At least two dozen people were killed by the savage flooding in Texas over the Memorial Day weekend, and the bodies of the victims are slowly being found and recovered.
Cars and houses are seen covered by floodwaters in southwest Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Torrential rains have killed at least eight people in Texas and Oklahoma, including two in Houston where flooding turned streets into rivers and led to nearly 1,000 calls for help in the fourth-most populous U.S. city, officials said on Tuesday. Reuters

At least two dozen people were killed by the savage flooding in Texas over the Memorial Day weekend, and the bodies of the victims are slowly being found and recovered since then.

According to NBC Dallas Fort Worth, authorities have recovered the bodies of an 11-year-old girl and her grandmother and great-grandmother.

The Gatesville residents were reported missing after failing to show to church Sunday. Coryell County Sheriff Johnny Burks told the local NBC affiliate that their mini-van was swept off a flooded county road in Central Texas after their vehicle tried to go through a flooded low-water crossing after going over a bridge on the Leon River.

The victims were identified as: 11-year-old Holli Elizabeth Morgan; 63-year-old Lynn McLaughlin Grubb; and 84-year-old Bobbie Correne McLaughlin.

Laura McComb, 34, and her son Andrew, 6, were two of the reported dead when their house in Wimberley, Texas, was swept away by the flood.

Laura's father-in-law, Joe McComb, said in an interview that it was supposed to be "a family, fun-filled weekend."

"But then the rain started in the afternoon, and it got dark, and the river did what it did all in a matter of 20 or 30 minutes," Joe said.

At around 11 p.m. of May 23, Laura texted her sister, Julie Shields, and told her about the raging flood waters coming into the house. "One o'clock in the morning, (Laura) called me, she said, 'I'm in a house. I'm floating down the river. Tell Mom and Dad, 'I love you,' and pray,'" Shields said in an interview with Gannett's Austin affiliate.

The Lilly Biomedicine Division in Corpus Christi where Laura McComb works as a senior sales representative issued a statement saying, "Our thoughts are with Laura's husband, Jonathan, and her family at this difficult time. Laura will be remembered as a wonderful mother and a passionate person."

The Daily Mail reported that the death toll has reached 31 as of Saturday as more bodies have been recovered around the Blanco River. Rain was still pouring during the weekend, which resulted in more flooding.

According to CNN, the rain that has fallen in Texas in the month of May alone is enough to cover the entire state with water eight inches deep. President Barack Obama has declared it a major disaster on Friday to release Federal funds that will help rebuild destroyed areas of Texas. Flash flood warnings were put in place in many areas in North Texas in order to avoid more casualties.

In a tweet, the National Weather Service said, "There has been enough rain across #Texas during May to cover the entire state nearly 8 inches deep. That's over 35 trillion gallons! #txwx."

Aside from Texas, Oklahoma also experienced severe flooding, where seven people have already died. The total death toll today is at least 43.