Death toll rises as waterlogged Texas awaits more rainfall
Friday, May 29, 2015, 6:40 - Additional evacuations are underway in Texas as residents brace for more rain following historic, deadly flooding. At least 35 people have died from the severe weather that has battered Texas, Oklahoma and Mexico since the weekend. As of Thursday morning, nine people remain missing. And with more rain in the forecast for Texas, officials are bracing for the worst.
Authorities in Texas are ordering voluntary evacuations along parts of the Colorado and Brazos Rivers -- worried that predicted heavy rain will cause more flash flooding.
Officials say that could spell disaster in already-devastated areas.
"Our grounds are saturated The river is still up," Hays County commissioner Will Conley told CNN. "So if we were to receive a small amount of rain, we could be right back into an emergency situation in regards to floods."
This, as crews push ahead with cleanup from major flooding earlier this week.
More than a foot of rain pushed rivers over their banks. Thousands of houses were torn from their foundations and cars pushed downstream like toys.
Making matters worse -- particularly for rescue crews -- were the severe thunderstorms. At least 30 tornadoes were reported across Texas over the last three days, according to the National Weather Service.
At least three workers were injured after a tornado struck a gas drilling rig in the Texas Panhandle Wednesday.
The incident happened about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, about 2.5 miles north of the town of Canadian, reported the Associated Press.
A spokeswoman for the Hemphill County Sheriff's Office said the work shack on the rig floor was severely damaged.
At least one man was killed after what a sheriff described as a "pretty destructive'' tornado struck a mobile home just outside of the city of Cameron on Monday.
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Officials say the situation could get worse in the coming days as additional rainfall is expected.
Slow-moving storms are expected through Saturday for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.Forecasters say up to 2 inches are possible this weekend.
The National Weather Service warns that additional flooding is possible along the Red River.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department shut down the section of State Highway 41 early Thursday, due to flooding along the Red River.
Officials say it will remain closed until the water recedes and engineers can assess the damage.
Source: CNN | The Associated Press | National Weather Service