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2 Bodies Found As Floods Leave Texas

Two people, including a boy who was swept from his father's arms by the fast-moving currents of the Brazos River, were found dead as the heavy rains that have pounded parts of Texas for weeks were leaving the state.

The four-day search for 6-year-old Cesar Aparicio ended Friday when his body was found on a beach about 15 miles from where he washed into the Gulf of Mexico, said Freeport Police Chief Jeff Pynes.

A volunteer searcher in a private plane spotted the body on a remote stretch of uninhabited beach, Pynes said late Friday. The boy's body was taken to the Galveston County Medical Examination's office.

"The family has been notified and we believe this will be his son," Pynes said. "This is a pretty tough deal but it gives the family some closure."

The boy was at a family gathering on Bryan Beach, where the Brazos River feeds into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles south of Houston, when he was swept into floodwaters, Pynes said.

The boy's father and another relative were found clinging to trees and rescued Tuesday afternoon. Since then, Freeport authorities had been searching for the boy but were hampered by intermittent heavy rains and a river that, at 47 feet, was 4 feet above flood stage, said Pynes.

The river was moving so fast that it was pushing out 20 miles into the Gulf on Friday, and taking everything caught upstream — from cars to refrigerators to trees — with it. One rescue boat borrowed to aid in the search was damaged by the debris, Pynes said.

The river is "in really bad shape and very, very dangerous," he said. "That tree is a missile, essentially."

At Fort Hood, the body of a civilian worker was found downstream from where his vehicle was pulled out of a creek, post spokeswoman Col. Diane Battaglia said. Isidro Felix Alicea-Acosta, 74, went missing Wednesday night after a fireworks show.

In Fort Worth on Friday night, rescue personnel and divers searched for a missing 26-year-old man whose rubber raft overturned on the Trinity River. A 23-year-old man who was also on the raft was rescued on the side of the river, Fire Department spokesman Lt. Kent Worley said.

Meanwhile, rivers in Oklahoma and Kansas continued to recede, revealing millions of dollars in flood damage to at least a few thousand homes and businesses. Authorities found a man believed to be the flood's first fatality in Kansas.

The region may get some relief beginning this weekend. Much of Texas may get some daytime showers and isolated thunderstorms over the weekend, but the large swaths of pounding rain were expected to dissipate, forecasters said.

"You're going to see less and less," National Weather Service meteorologist Cristy Mitchell said.

But river waters could keep rising in some places, such as the Trinity River in East Texas for rivers in Oklahoma, including the Neosho River.

While much of the West has been parched under record temperatures and drought, Texas has been drenched day after day since late May, filling lakes and rivers, washing out bridges and roads, and damaging 1,000 homes. Since May 23, there have been 15 weather-related deaths in Texas.

In Coffeyville, Kansas, search teams going door-to-door found a man dead late Thursday in a motel room, city clerk Cindy Price said.

The cause of the man's death wasn't immediately available, but authorities said he had apparently ignored warnings to leave the southeast Kansas town, where a flash flood triggered a 42,000-gallon crude oil spill into the Verdigris River.

The state on Friday ordered residents away from the contaminated areas after emergency workers began experiencing rashes and diarrhea.