Calls to 911 detail the dread and anguish of nine people in a Texas home that floated away during historic Memorial Day floods — killing six people and leaving two children still missing.
Hays County, Texas, authorities Wednesday released about 12 hours of calls that poured into 911 as the Blanco River flooded the town of Wimberley on Memorial Day — rising 28 feet in an hour and a half.
Several calls were from the home where Laura and Jonathan McComb of Corpus Christi, their family and friends were vacationing when the floodwaters flashed in.
"The water is up to the second story into the house," Laura McComb says in the first call from the address, at 11:11 p.m. on May 23 (12:11 a.m. ET May 24). "It's coming up to the second floor. I mean, it's so high up. And we have no exit out."
The 911 operator tells McComb that help is on the way and to try to get everyone out — but to avoid getting trapped in the attic upstairs.
At 11:26, a man calls from the same address to report: "We're running out of breathing room."
At 11:29, a woman calls again from the home. The call lasts only about a minute before it breaks up:
Caller: "Our house is down! We're floating! ... We're floating and we've got three [unintelligible] in the house!" (Later, it was learned that three children were in the house.)
Dispatcher: "OK, we do have a call for Deer Crossing, and we're going to get out there as soon as we can. Are you on the roof of your house or where are you located?"
Dispatcher: "Hello? Are you all inside your residence still?"
Three minutes later, a call from a different address comes in. It's a man, and he tells dispatchers: "A house just went by through the river, and there was someone in it with a bright light. ... They've already hit the bridge, I'm sure."
Jonathan McComb survived and was found miles from where the home stood. He suffered a collapsed lung, a broken sternum and broken ribs.
Six of the vacationers have been found dead, including Randy Charba, 42, whose body wasn't found until Saturday, not far from the body of Laura McComb. Two children, Leighton McComb, 4, and Will Charba, 6, are still missing 2½ weeks later.
In all, 23 people are confirmed to have been killed in the floods across the state.