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Rains Ease in Texas; Louisiana and Mississippi Face Flash Flood Watches

  • VOA News

Homes surrounded by floodwaters are shown in this aerial view, in Rosharon, Texas, June 4, 2016.

Homes surrounded by floodwaters are shown in this aerial view, in Rosharon, Texas, June 4, 2016.

Heavy rains began to ease in parts of Texas Saturday, but flooding remained an issue along the U.S. Gulf Coast, with southern Louisiana and Mississippi facing flash flood watches through Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The threat of flash floods should ease Sunday in Texas, although the Brazos River is expected to crest near the south Texas town of Rosharon, located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Houston, the NWS said.

Midday Saturday, the river was measured at 16 meters (52.55 feet) at Rosharon -- nearly 3 meters (9.55 feet) above flood stage, and is expected to crest at nearly 16.1 meters (52.8 feet) late Sunday morning.

Daniel Petersen, a meteorologist at the Weather Prediction Center in Maryland, told Reuters Saturday that there was some flooding in Louisiana Saturday, and that heavy rains were forecast early next week for the Florida Panhandle, which lies farther east along the Gulf Coast.

At least 16 people died in flooding last week in Texas.

Cattle are herded through floodwaters toward higher ground, near Chenango, Texas, June 4, 2016. Parts of Texas have been inundated with rain in the last week, and more than half of the state has been under flood watches or warnings.

Cattle are herded through floodwaters toward higher ground, near Chenango, Texas, June 4, 2016. Parts of Texas have been inundated with rain in the last week, and more than half of the state has been under flood watches or warnings.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in more than 30 counties, the state Department of Public Safety said in a statement Saturday. Hundreds of homes have been flooded, and thousands of homes have been evacuated.

Fort Hood investigation

U.S. Army officials also continued an investigation of a training exercise Thursday that left nine soldiers dead at the Fort Hood military base.

Earlier Saturday, the U.S. Army confirmed it had recovered the bodies of four additional soldiers who went missing after their vehicle overturned Thursday in a flash flood at Fort Hood, a military base in Texas. In all, nine soldiers were killed in the accident.

Three solders survived the incident and are reported in stable condition.

The troops were on a training mission at the base when their vehicle was caught in the flash flood.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Saturday said the military will "learn lessons" from the accident and actions would be taken in the future "to prevent such accidents."

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