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Death Toll Rises After Flooding Strikes Texas, Oklahoma

  • VOA News

Gabby Aviles carries her daughter Audrey through floodwaters outside their apartment in Houston, Texas, May 26, 2015.

Gabby Aviles carries her daughter Audrey through floodwaters outside their apartment in Houston, Texas, May 26, 2015.

The death toll from a long weekend of torrential rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma has risen to at least 17 people.

Four of the dead were reported in the southeastern Texas city of Houston, which received as much as 30 centimeters of rain over a six-hour period between Monday and Tuesday. Flooding brought traffic on a major highway to a standstill, forcing thousands of motorists to abandon their vehicles. Officials say first responders carried out more than 500 water rescues.

Hundreds of spectators attending Monday's National Basketball Association playoff game between the Houston Rockets and the visiting Golden State Warriors stayed overnight at the downtown arena.

Mayor Annalise Parker said about 4,000 homes had sustained significant damage from the flooding, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of emergency for over 40 counties across the state. The National Weather Service says there is a good chance of thunderstorms for the rest of the week in Houston.

A cross sits at water-level of the still flooding Blanco River and in view of debris from a flood days earlier, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Wimberley, Texas.

A cross sits at water-level of the still flooding Blanco River and in view of debris from a flood days earlier, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Wimberley, Texas.

Across the border in Mexico, people are cleaning up in Ciudad Acuna after a tornado killed at least 13 people. The twister flattened hundreds of homes.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto visited the town to survey the damage and help coordinate rescue efforts Tuesday.

The severe weather was spawned by a line of storms that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico north to the Great Lakes.

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