UPDATE 6:10 a.m. EDT: At least five people were killed in flash floods that swept through Texas and Oklahoma over the weekend, ABC News reported early Monday. Hundreds of homes have been reportedly destroyed, while forecasters predicted more heavy rains and flash floods.
UPDATE 11:40 p.m. EDT: Forecasters warned of new thunderstorms in parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Monday that could cause heavy rains, CNN reported, citing the National Weather Service, adding that even a small amount of rain “could quickly lead to more flash flooding concerns.”
UPDATE 10:40 p.m. EDT: Eight people are missing in Wimberley, Texas, as flooding struck Texas and Oklahoma during the weekend. KXAN-TV, Austin, reported three of the missing are the daughter-in-law and grandchildren of a local former county commissioner whose son was rescued from floodwaters. The missing come from two families who were spending Memorial Day weekend together in this central Texas town of about 2,600 people, about 38 miles southwest of Austin.
UPDATE 8:06 p.m. EDT: The death toll is up to three in the flash floods that swept through Texas and Oklahoma during the weekend, CNN reported. A firefighter and a 33-year-old woman died in Oklahoma, while the third death was of an unidentified man in San Marcos, Texas. Three people are also missing in San Marcos, though it's unclear whether one of those three is the man whose death has been confirmed.
UPDATE 5:10 p.m. EDT: The first flooding fatality in San Marcos, Texas, was reported Sunday as flash floods washed over parts of Texas and Oklahoma. "It's with heavy hearts that the city reports the first fatality of this flood event," the city said on its official Twitter account Sunday afternoon. "No word on the man's identity at this time."
San Marcos city emergency management director Kevin Bell confirmed the death to reporters on Sunday afternoon, CNN reported.
That brings the death toll in the flash floods in the South to two. The first death was of Oklahoma firefigher Jason Farley, who was killed early Sunday in a rescue attempt.
Early estimates indicate some 400 homes in Hays County, Texas, have been destroyed in the flash floods that drowned parts of Texas and Oklahoma during the Memorial Day weekend, KXAN, Austin, reported. Hays County instituted a 9 p.m. curfew for Sunday night to protect the public.
“We have numerous downed power lines, washed out roadways and barriers that makes evening travel very risky. Please restrict all unnecessary movement. Officers will be monitoring the areas overnight but many areas may not be covered at all times and we want to ensure the safety of our citizens,” Hays County officials posted on the county’s emergency information website.
Officials expect the possiblity of additional flash flooding in the area Sunday evening and have ordered residents to stay off the streets between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Officials assessing the damage estimated 400 homes have been wiped out by the flooding, and the number is expected to rise. About 1,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters, and many were anxious to return to their homes to see what was left. But the mayor of San Marcos, the county seat for Hays County, is urging people to obey the curfew and stay away for now.
“We are anticipating additional rain in the next 48 hours. As the water recedes, you’ll have the opportunity to assess your home,” San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero said.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Oklahoma, emergency personnel have conducted at least 48 high-water rescues. A firefighter who was killed early Sunday in one such rescue has been identified as Capt. Jason Farley, who was working to save about 10 people stuck in duplexes in a community northeast of Tulsa. His body was swept into a drainage ditch.
The National Weather Service said some areas in Texas set records for rainfall with the weekend floods. Wichita Falls, Texas, has had 14 inches of rain in the month of May alone, making it the wettest month on record.
Flash flood warnings also were in effect for western Arkansas with as much as 3 inches more of rain predicted Sunday on top of the 1-3 inches that already has fallen, the weather service said.