Swept Away: The Toll Of The Texas Floods

(CBS/John Filo)
Hari Sreenivasan is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas.
The numbers don't lie. Yes, you've seen lots of stories about rain in Texas and Oklahoma, but that's because it has been a usually wet year. Here in Texas we are already at three times the normal rainfall for June, and in Oklahoma, they've already had more rain this year than all of 2006. While the numbers might be nice abstractions for meteorologists, the flash floods that come with these downpours have been deadly.

In the past week, seven Texans have lost their lives to high waters. Last night, a 13-year-old boy was no match for the suburban Dallas creek he was stuck in. Rescuers found him clinging to a concrete beam underneath a bridge. They sent him rope, but he slipped out of it and was carried more than a mile downstream. Police jumped in after him but to no avail. It took a couple of hours in the darkness for a helicopter to spot him, near one of the areas where rescuers had set up a place to catch him. The rescuers performed CPR all the way to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

It looks so relatively tame, a few inches, perhaps a foot of water. Think about it this way- a little over a foot of flowing water is enough to lift a small car, add a few inches to that and you can lift a truck. So if this young boy was standing in a creek that was swollen to a foot and a half or two feet of flowing water- the force that can move a truck is likely stronger than the most able bodied 13-year-old.

Most of the rescues we see on TV aren't from the middle of creeks, its usually people who choose to ignore warnings on closed roadways, or miscalculate the depth of water and try to drive through. Use your head, heck, use your GPS if you have one, and find another way around a flooded road, and don't let your kids play near any running body of water after a rainstorm.