AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - At least three people were killed and another missing in Texas after being caught in high waters caused by a storm system that brought snow, ice and torrential rain to an area stretching from New Mexico to Illinois, officials said on Friday.
The system is expected to dump as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rain through the weekend in parts of North Texas, coat the Lubbock area in ice and drop up to a foot (30 cms) of snow in northern parts of New Mexico, the National Weather Service said.
The agency has issued a flood watch for the region extending from the Dallas area into Oklahoma and Louisiana, and up through parts of southern Illinois.
It has also issued an ice storm watch for the Texas panhandle, parts of eastern New Mexico and western Oklahoma.
In Garland, outside of Dallas, one person was found dead in a car that had been submerged in flood waters, firefighters said on Friday.
In Johnson County, south of Fort Worth, a body was pulled out of a car that was swept away in raging waters overnight and there was one more death associated with the flooding, emergency management for the county said.
In Tarrant County, Texas, where Fort Worth is located, a woman believed to be in her seventies went missing after she was swept away with her vehicle in high water, the sheriff’s office said.
Tarrant County Deputy Krystal Salazar, 26, tried to save the woman but was also swept away, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said.
“She (Salazar) was found about two hours later clinging to a tree branch,” said spokesman Terry Grisham.
The deputy has been treated and released from an area hospital.
Icy roads and bridges contributed to a rash of vehicle crashes and rollovers in Missouri and Kansas on Friday morning, causing minor to moderate injuries, according to accident reports posted by highway patrols in both states.
A woman died after being ejected from a car when the driver lost control on an Interstate 35 bridge about 20 miles north of Kansas City, but weather was not listed as a factor.
In Oklahoma, more than 2,100 customers were without power Oklahoma Gas & Electric said.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Addiitonal reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by Bernadette Baum, Chris Reese and Chizu Nomiyama