DALLAS — Hundreds of people flocked to shelters in Texas after flooding caused by five days of torrential rain ruined their holidays. At least 13 people had died by Sunday.
"We had a lot of people show up with their cars and trucks loaded with belongings," said Greg Hill, a Red Cross spokesman in Dallas. "There were people in the shelter last night with their wrapped Christmas presents."
The storm dumped more than 9 inches of rain on the San Antonio area since Wednesday, deluging ranches and farmlands and drowning cattle and other livestock. Many rural roads were awash.
Nearly 2 inches of rain fell on the Austin area Sunday and nearly an inch fell at Killeen.
Flash flood watches were posted over much of eastern Texas. Flood warnings continued along portions of the Bosque, Brazos, Colorado and Leon rivers. Record flooding was reported on the Colorado and San Gabriel rivers.
Searchers found the bodies of two more drowning victims in rural Milam County, about 120 miles south of Dallas. Authorities were seeking the body of a third man whose truck was swept off a road at Alligator Creek.
"We're still finding vehicles; we don't know what we're going to find," sheriff's deputy Charlie West said.
At least five people, including an infant, remain missing across the state after they were swept away by floodwaters.
There were numerous reports of drowned cattle in the Milam County area, West said. Some feared the numbers could run into the hundreds. Ranchers and farmers were told to move their livestock to higher ground.
Firefighters in San Antonio found the body of teen-ager who, along with a 15-year-old cousin, fell into Leon Creek on Saturday when the bank gave way. Rescuers saved the other boy.
A man died in Ft. Worth, apparently from an electrical shock he got while plugging in a light in his flooded back yard.
Among the deaths blamed on the record rains were four weather-related traffic fatalities. Flooding forced the closure of a section of Interstate 45 about 90 miles south of Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
Most rivers in central Texas spilled from their banks. The Trinity River flooded more than 50 homes in southeast Dallas. About 200 people were forced to evacuate, as were residents of a mobile home park in nearby Hutchins.
The Trinity, already above flood stage, was expected to rise to about 45 feet, nearing the record 47.1 feet set in a spring flood last year.