GAINESVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - Residents emerged from their homes in a flood-stricken north Texas town on Monday as waters that killed a 4-year-old girl and at least one other person began to recede throughout the soaked region.
Local media reported that the girl was killed after she was pulled by raging waters from her mother’s arms in a mobile home park in a Fort Worth suburb. Elsewhere a woman died after her car stalled on a north Texas road and got swept away.
Flood warnings remained in effect for many parts of the region which has seen a prolonged drought washed away by drenching rains in recent weeks.
“Water came into the house and almost broke everything and now everything is laying around,” said Christian Gomez, a resident of the flood-hit town of Gainesville, as he trudged down the street in calf deep water.
The National Weather Service said that close to nine inches (23 cm) of rain had poured over the Gainesville area since early Monday morning and a flood warning remained in affect for the area until at least 6:15 p.m. CDT (00:15 GMT).
Even as the rains tapered off concerns remained that excess run-off could still gush forth from rising creeks and rivers.
At midday Monday a warming sun had broken through the clouds and the muddy waters had begun to recede in Gainesville, which lies near the Oklahoma border about 60 miles north of Dallas. Flood waters were reported to be receding elsewhere in north Texas as well.
A Reuters photographer on the scene in Gainesville said several houses she had looked into appeared to have been trashed by the flood with furniture and appliances strewn about. Damage to cars and buildings was extensive.
There were no reports of casualties in Gainesville which seemed to be struck by the worst of the flooding. Earlier in the day television footage showed dramatic images of families trapped on the rooftops of their homes as murky floodwaters roared past.
Rescue efforts continued to the east of Gainesville in the town of Sherman, where local media reported that 120 elderly residents of a nursing home had been safely evacuated and taken away by bus.
Evidence of flooding could be seen in many places. In the town of Grapevine near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport a soccer field was submerged under water.
additional reporting by Ed Stoddard in Grapevine