Five Dead, at Least Three Missing in Texas and Kansas Flooding

Image: Texas Flooding
Irene Martinez, who lives near the Brazos River, leaves her flooded home Sunday, May 29, 2016, in Richmond, Texas. Martinez lives there with her two sons, and they are evacuating because the river is expected to rise another several feet.Jon Shapley / Houston Chronicle via AP

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Five people were killed and at least three more were missing after days of heavy rain over the holiday weekend triggered devastating flooding in the Plains states.

Four bodies were discovered in Washington County, Texas, a rural area between Austin and Houston, which saw nearly two feet of rain in a span of just a few hours Friday, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Lela Holland, 64, died in her home Friday when floods washed through, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Jimmy Wayne Schaeffer, 49, was killed when he drove his truck into high water, a statement from the office said.

The body of Darren Mitchell, 21, a National Guardsman, was recovered Saturday after his vehicle was swept off the road by floods, the statement said.

And Pyarali Rajebhi Umatiya, 59, was killed when his vehicle stalled in high water, according to the statement.

Another body was found Sunday afternoon in Travis County, according to the county's Emergency Services.

A man checks to make sure everyone made it safely out of a truck that flooded Friday in Magnolia, Texas.Michael Ciaglo / Houston Chronicle via AP

Two people in the county were swept away in floodwaters Friday, Travis County Emergency Services spokeswoman Lisa Block told NBC News. A witness reported that one person was holding onto a pole and was ripped away by the waters, while firefighters saw another person get swept away in a vehicle, Block said.

The two victims had not been identified, and it was unclear whether the body found Sunday was that of one of the people who were reported missing. Crews were continuing extensive aerial searches in the area, Block said.

About 100 miles to the east, officials were also searching for a 10-year-old boy who was pulled into the swollen Brazos River while fishing with friends, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

The rising Brazos river prompted the evacuations of 2,600 inmates from two prisons in Rosharon, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The city of Sidmonton, in Fort Bend County, was also under mandatory evacuation orders Sunday while officials waited for the river to go down, according to a statement on the city's website.

Residents of the city of Wharton were also told they had to evacuate their homes by 7 a.m. Monday as the Colorado River, adjacent to the city, was expected to rise drastically.

Residents in other parts of Fort Bend, as well as Waller and Austin counties, were asked to voluntarily evacuate their homes, according to state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, who toured the damage Saturday.

Meanwhile, in Kansas, an 11-year-old boy fell into the fast-moving Gypsum Creek in Wichita and was swept away as friends tried to grab him, NBC affiliate KSNW reported. The creek was swollen by recent rains. On Saturday, fire officials said the search had become a recovery operation.

Another part of the country was also dealing with unwelcome weather over the holiday weekend. Tropical Storm Bonnie, which weakened to a tropical depression, made landfall just east of Charleston, South Carolina, at about 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain, winds up to 35 mph and high surf were forecast on the coast of the Carolinas and Georgia through Monday, according to At least one beach goer in North Carolina, identified as James Cameron, 21, was missing after he ventured into the choppy waters, according to the Carolina Beach Police Department.