12 missing after flooding in Texas sweeps away vacation home

Recovery teams resumed the search Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river carried a Texas vacation home off its foundation and slammed it into a bridge downstream.

WIMBERLEY, Texas — Recovery teams resumed the search Tuesday for 12 people who are missing after a rain-swollen river carried a Texas vacation home off its foundation and slammed it into a bridge downstream.

In Houston, authorities recovered three more bodies from the floodwaters — two of them in the city and a third in a vehicle on Interstate 45. That brings to 11 the number of people killed by the storms in Oklahoma and Texas.

After holiday weekend storms dumped record rainfall on the Plains and Midwest, the water kept rising overnight. The Houston area received about 11 more inches, much of it in a six-hour period.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said officials in the nation’s fourth-largest city would be “on the alert” as the bayous rise.

Fire crews conducted hundreds of water rescues overnight, mostly retrieving stranded motorists from their vehicles, the mayor said.

Elsewhere, a runway was closed at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport after a sinkhole developed in a nearby grassy area. The runway was to remain closed until repairs can be made.

In addition to those missing in the vacation house, authorities were searching for victims and assessing damage just across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five unaccounted for.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared disasters in 37 counties.

“You cannot candy coat it. It’s absolutely massive,” Abbott said after touring the destruction.

Some of the worst flooding damage was in Wimberley, a popular tourist town along the Blanco River in the corridor between Austin and San Antonio. That’s where the vacation home was swept away.

The “search component” of the mission ended Monday night, meaning no more survivors were expected to be found in the flood debris, said Trey Hatt, a spokesman for the Hays County Emergency Operations Center.

Witnesses reported seeing the swollen river push the home off its foundation and smash it into a bridge. Only pieces of the home have been found, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb said.

One person who was rescued from the home told workers that the other 12 inside were all connected to two families, Cobb said Monday night. Young children were among those believed to be missing.

But by early Tuesday, Hays County spokeswoman Laureen Chernow acknowledged discrepancies concerning how many people might have been inside the vacation home. She said officials were not able to confirm whether all 12 were in that house.

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