Recovery team are searching for 12 people whose holiday home was swept away by a raging river after torrential rains in the southern US sparked some of the worst flooding the region had seen.
Reports said the crews were looking for the people, said to be members of two families, whose property home was swept from its foundations and carried downstream where it crashed into a bridge.
The rain and storms have spawned everything from tornadoes to flash floods as officials said at least eight people had been killed in Texas and Oklahoma. More than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in Texas, and thousands of residents are displaced, the Associated Press said.
12 missing after flooding in Texas: Recovery teams are set to resume looking for the 12 members of two families who… http://t.co/vxDOFs0grp— Breaking PHX News (@BreakingPHXNews) May 26, 2015
Authorities were also searching for victims and assessing damage just across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five unaccounted for.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared disasters in 37 of the state’s counties, a move that allows for further mobilisation of state resources to assist those in need.
“You cannot candy coat it. It’s absolutely massive,” Mr Abbott said, after touring the destruction.
The worst flooding damage was in Wimberley, where the vacation home was swept away, a popular tourist town along the Blanco River in the corridor between Austin and San Antonio.
Officials said the 12 missing people were connected to two families - the Carerys and the McCombs - who had gathered at a house along the river for a Memorial Day holiday weekend at the town located 35 miles southwest of Austin.
Witnesses reported seeing water push the house off its foundation and smash it into a bridge, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb. Mr Cobb said one person rescued from the home told workers about the others insid.
Joe McComb told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper that his daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were among the missing.
He said his 36-year-old son, Jonathan, was separated from his wife, Laura, and their children - Leighton, 4, and Andrew, 6 - when the home was knocked off its foundation. Mr McComb said the home floated down the river with the people still inside before striking the bridge.
Trey Hatt, a spokesman for the Hays County Emergency Operations Centre, said on Monday night that the search component of the mission was over, meaning no more survivors were expected to be found in the flood debris, the AP said.
Witnesses reported seeing the swollen river push the home off its foundation and smash it into a bridge. Only pieces of the home have been found, Hays County Judge Bert Cobb said.
The Blanco river rose to 40 feet, swamping a busy north-south highway and forced parts of it to close. Rescuers used pontoon boats and a helicopter to pull people out.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management also reported four fatalities between Saturday and Monday across the state, which also saw severe flooding and reported tornadoesReuse content