At Least 6 Dead In Texas Floods

Two women leave the scene of a secured area where the bodies of a child and a women were recovered after flooding in Gainesville, Texas, Monday, June 18, 2007. AP

Torrential overnight rainfall flooded a handful of North Texas towns, stranding residents and their pets on the roofs of their homes. At least six people are now confirmed dead, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann.

A 5-year-old girl and her grandmother were swept to their deaths after the family's mobile home was carried off its foundation and lodged against a bridge above a swollen creek in this city along the Oklahoma border, said Cpl. Mike Linnell of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The girl's 2-year-old sister was among at least five people missing in the Gainesville area, but all of the missing have since been accounted for, CBS News has learned.

The little girl's mother survived.

"Only thing she can remember is she was in a tree and was rescued from a tree," said Linnell.

In the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City, a 4-year-old girl died after her family attempted to escape the flooding in a boat that floated by, but it flipped over and the girl was lost into the rushing water, CBS station KTVT-TV reported.

The girl's mother, Natasha Collins, told a Dallas television station that the last time she saw her daughter was "when the current took her out of my arms. We reached the boat, and the boat capsized."

Rescue crews arrived later to help the Collins family. Alexandria Collins' body was found more than two hours later.

A woman died in Sherman, about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, after her car stalled in rising water and was swept away, Sherman police Sgt. Bruce Dawsey said. A 74-year-old man also died in Grayson County after driving into high water, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Sherman firefighters were able to rescue two men who were stranded high in a tree over the floodwaters.

"When we got there, we realized the creek had rose to river lengths. It was about a mile wide in some areas, specifically where the victims were," rescuer Jamie Baggs said on CBS News' The Early Show. "One of the victims was a firemen. ... He was actually the rescuer, become the victim. So we had two people then."

The victims were in moving water for four or five hours when Baggs got there.

"The initial victim, he was sitting pretty good in the tree. Didn't look like he was having to hang on too hard, he was wedged in between these two branches. The firefighter, he was in a little bit more dire condition," up to his armpits in the water, Baggs told co-anchor Julie Chen. "But pretty much, they were just cold and wet."

In Gainesville, aerial video showed families awaiting rescue on their roofs, some having hacked their way to the outside from their attics. Some were joined by their dogs. Three mobile homes were washed out of the park.

Some people lost everything. Others still have a house, just at a different address, reports Strassmann.

"We went about three blocks. Our house actually planted itself on a tree, crashed in my daughter's bedroom window," said one resident of a truly-mobile home.

About 100 mobile homes in Haltom City were inundated and many were washed off their foundations, emergency officials said.

About 37,000 people live in Sherman and about 16,500 in Gainesville.

The National Weather Service said rain fell at a rate of an inch every 15 minutes in some places early Monday.

Torrential rains also flooded creeks and rivers across central and southern Oklahoma, sweeping a truck off a bridge near Ada and forcing the evacuation of some homes in the town of Caddo. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for seven counties on Monday.
  • Lloyd Vries

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