State News

Nov 1, 2013 6:06 PM

Texas Flooding Death Toll Rises to 3

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Central Texas rescue personnel Friday recovered the body of a woman swept from her vehicle along with her infant son during the torrential rains that flooded parts of Austin area.

Travis County Sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade said Josefina Rodriguez, 31, was found dead about 1½ miles from where her vehicle was pushed from a road by rising waters in south Austin. Rescuers continued to search Onion Creek for her 8-month-old son. The pair had been missing since Thursday morning.

Rodriguez's death brings death toll from flooding to three. Rains that began Wednesday dumped up to 13 inches in the area.

Austin police said the body of a man was recovered Thursday, also from Onion Creek. Another man, a special education teacher on his way to work, died Thursday in Caldwell County when his car entered water that had risen over the road, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Wade said Onion Creek had returned to its banks by Friday, allowing a search team walking its banks to find Rodriguez's body.

"At its highest, it was swollen to about 40 feet," Wade said. "That's the highest it's ever been recorded."

The storms prompted dozens of emergency rescues, interrupted public transit and resulted in a broad recovery effort as homeowners were left with flood-damaged homes.

Flooding was reported not only in Central Texas, but also in the Houston area and into southeastern parts of the state.

The Coast Guard said Friday four people on an 18-foot sailboat caught in high seas and winds off Texas were rescued. The vessel was located Thursday about 24 miles offshore of Matagorda Bay and towed.

Game wardens with the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife rescued Hope Pryer and her infant son Friday from floodwaters near Austin.

"We got flooded with all this water," Pryer said. "Through the downpour, cars, homes, our shed, all of our son's baby stuff - gone."

She added, "By the time we got clothes together, it was already too late."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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