Texas flooding kills 2; more than 200 rescued

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Massive flooding from torrential rains in the San Antonio area of Texas left at least two people dead on Saturday and sent emergency workers rushing in boats to rescue more than 200 residents stranded in cars and homes.

One woman became trapped in her car and climbed to the roof before being swept away in floodwaters, said San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove. Her body was later found against a fence, he said.

Emergency officials also found the body of a woman who was swept away in her car while firefighters were trying to rescue her.

Authorities were still searching for a teenage boy who was swept away while trying to cross a swollen creek.

By Saturday evening, the water was receding quickly in much of San Antonio. However, pools of water could still be seen in some low-lying areas and a major highway that links the suburbs and the city was closed due to standing water.

The Fire Department conducted more than 235 rescues across the city, some by inflatable boats, authorities said. They continued their search into the evening.

Even a city bus was swept away, but firefighters on a boat were able to rescue the three passengers and driver early Saturday, public transit spokeswoman Priscilla Ingle said. Nobody was injured.

The San Antonio International Airport by Saturday afternoon had recorded 25.07 centimetres of rain since midnight, causing nearly all streams and rivers to experience extraordinary flooding. The highest amount of rainfall recorded since midnight was 39.37 centimetres at Olmos Creek at Dresden Drive.

Numerous roads in several counties were closed. Mayor Julian Castro urged residents not to drive.

The San Antonio River about 30 kilometres southeast of the city, near Elmendorf, was expected to peak at 18.6 metres by Sunday morning, well above the flood stage of 10.5 metres.

The National Weather Service called the region's flooding a life-threatening situation similar to what happened in October 1998. Up to 75 centimetres of rain fell in a two-day period, causing floods in the Guadalupe and San Antonio River basins that left more than 30 people dead, according to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority.

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