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Texans clean up after flooding

/ Source: The Associated Press

Residents assessed damage caused by more than a foot of rain that fell in parts of north Texas, flooding homes and washing out a bridge south of Dallas. At least three people died, and another was missing.

Jerry Johns, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service, said preliminary estimates for damages covered by homeowners policies totaled $17 million to $20 million in north Texas.

Two vehicles were found late Thursday in a flooded creek downstream from the collapsed bridge in the small Ellis County town of Ovilla, officials said. One man’s body was found and authorities searched for another person.

“We have two vehicles located. We have located one person deceased. We’re still searching for another person that was in the second vehicle,” said Lt. Danny Williams of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department.

County Judge Chad Adams said the bridge, a main thoroughfare in the town of 3,400, was swept out early Thursday as the storms moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Texas Department of Transportation was investigating what made some of the bridge’s concrete columns collapse.

In Dallas, a death was caused by the weather Wednesday night when a motorist in a pickup truck knocked over a utility pole. Also, firefighters responding to a report of a drowning in Arlington found a man’s body Thursday in an industrial area, authorities said.

In the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, city officials were hoping for state and federal help after flooding damaged as many as 200 homes.

It was the second flood in about a month at the home of Fred and Eileen Odom and their five children. Their 13-year-old was sprawled on the carpet reading around midnight when he noticed his elbow was wet.

A short time later, the carpet was sopping and floodwaters were ankle-deep on the kitchen linoleum.

“You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t see the yard. All you could see was water, rushing water,” said Eileen Odom, 42.