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New evacuations in Texas as rivers and death toll rise

ROSENBERG, Texas -- Officials in several southeastern Texas communities ordered new evacuations late Friday amid fears that rain-swollen bayous and rivers may flood.

At the same time, authorities confirmed that four more bodies were located Friday, bringing the death toll from a week of severe weather to 21 in Texas and six in Oklahoma. Another 11 people in Texas are still missing.

More rescues in Texas and Oklahoma as hundreds evacuate

The Colorado River in Wharton and the Brazos and San Jacinto rivers near Houston were the main focus of concern as floodwaters moved from North and Central Texas downstream toward the Gulf of Mexico.

CBS affiliate KHOU reported that mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 50 homes south of the Brazos River in the city of Rosenberg, about 35 miles southwest of Houston.

The order went into effect at 9 p.m. Friday. Residents will not be allowed to re-enter the evacuated area until it is determined safe by the city, according to KHOU. As of Friday evening, the river had reached 48 feet and was expected to reach 50 feet by Monday, the station reported.

The mayor of Wharton, a city about 60 miles southwest of Houston, ordered the evacuation of homes along the Colorado River, which is expected to crest in the area at just over 43 feet on Saturday morning.

Floodwater was already creeping into neighborhoods in the suburban Houston city of Kingwood near the swollen San Jacinto River, where residents were keeping a close eye on water levels.

"Everybody's worried about it," James Simms said from his second-story balcony, looking down at a flood that had reached his garage. "Those people who are going to leave are already gone. There's others like us who are going to wait until it's mandatory."

Another batch of severe weather is expected Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning throughout Southeast Texas, KHOU Chief Meteorologist David Paul said. Showers early Friday morning saturated the ground, leaving additional rain with few places to go: the streets and bayous.

A flash flood watch has been issued for most of the region through Sunday morning.

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