Official reports today say at least 19 people were killed after days of relentless rain caused widespread flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. Authorities expect the death toll to rise, as 11 people are still missing. Record breaking rainfall ended 5 years of extreme drought in both states and caused massive flooding and widespread devastation along the way.
Texas and Oklahoma were under extreme drought conditions for the past five years. “That left the soil ‘like concrete,’ which typically exacerbates flooding conditions, Mark Svoboda, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, said.
NBC describes central Texas as a “scene of utter devastation, a natural disaster of epic proportions, after days of relentless and historic rain triggered raging floods. The rivers there are swelling to at least 45 feet [1 371 cm], rushing over its banks, demolishing homes and businesses.
Right now [Tuesday night local time on May 26] there are entire neighborhoods under a feet [30 cm] of mud and water including Wimberley, now called the epicenter of this disaster.”
Crews will resume searches Wednesday, May 27 for the 11 people who have now been missing for three days in the small tourist town of Wimberley, where the usually calm Blanco River swelled to an ocean-like squall that crested three times above flood stage, AP reports.
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