The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys
San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

Friday, July 13, 2007

Toddler's Body Found in Texas Floods

(AP) - GAINESVILLE, Texas-The body of a 2-year-old girl was found in a tree Tuesday, nearly 3 miles downstream from where her family's mobile home was swept away a day earlier by flooding blamed for six deaths.
Authorities determined all people had been accounted for after storms poured nearly a foot of rain on parts of North Texas.

Aided by receding water, rescuers and search dogs scoured Pecan Creek and its banks for Makayla Marie Mollenhour. The bodies of her 5-year-old sister, Teresa Leann Arnett, and grandmother, Billie Murel Mollenhour, 60, were recovered from the flood waters on Monday. The girl's mother was the only one rescued after their home was washed into a bridge, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Rebecca Uresti said.
Officials previously said a woman and child were missing, but officers went door-to-door in the area and could not confirm their existence, Uresti said.
Gov. Rick Perry had sent three helicopters and Texas National Guard troops and equipment to help with the searches.
At least three other people died in Monday's flooding. A 4-year-old girl was swept away from her mother in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City, a 48-year-old woman died in Sherman when her sport utility vehicle flooded, and a 74-year-old man died in Grayson County after driving into high water.
Perry declared four counties disaster areas because of storm damage, making them eligible for emergency funds. He called the flood a "horrific event" after taking an aerial tour of Gainesville's storm-damaged areas.
"I'm always impressed with how the people of Texas step up and perform at an admirable level when great tragedy strikes, particularly when nature gives us some very difficult situations," Perry said.
The National Weather Service said the downpour at times fell at a rate of an inch every 15 minutes.
In Gainesville, along the Oklahoma state line, waters surged up to 8 feet deep in some places and forced many to their rooftops to be rescued. Flooding damaged about 300 homes and 75 downtown businesses, causing about $28 million in damage, Mayor Glenn Loch said.
The storm also caused Cooke County to lose 75 percent of its crops, including wheat and corn, said County Judge Bill Freeman. He said no monetary loss estimate was available.
Some 450 people took refuge in two city shelters Monday, but that number dwindled to 300 by Tuesday and officials decided to leave open only one shelter, Loch said. It will remain open as long as necessary, he said.
Frances Anderson, who was staying at a shelter with her 6-year-old daughter, said she awoke early Monday morning to ankle-deep water. Just moments later, the water was waist deep, she said.
"It was so weird. Ah!" she said. "I was just in shock to see that much water."
Anderson, who rents the house but did not have insurance, said she hopes her landlord will repair it. She said she is not sure where she will live in the meantime but will stay at the shelter as long as it's open.
"I just can't believe this," she said, hugging her daughter, Jasmine. "I'm sad, but I still have her."


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