Floods in Texas and Oklahoma leave at least nine dead

Death toll set to rise with numerous people missing

Floodwaters cover an intersection  in Houston, Texas, today.  Photograph: Daniel Kramer/Reuters

Floodwaters cover an intersection in Houston, Texas, today. Photograph: Daniel Kramer/Reuters

 

Torrential rains have killed at least nine people in Texas and Oklahoma, including two in Houston where floods turned streets into rivers and led to about 1,000 calls for help in the fourth most populous US city.

The death toll is set to rise with numerous people missing in Texas after the storms slammed the states during the Memorial Day weekend, causing record floods that destroyed hundreds of homes and swept away bridges.

“There are still some significant areas of really devastating flooding in Houston,” mayor Annise Parker said at a news conference.

More than 1,000 vehicles were submerged in the Houston floods, and people took to bicycles, kayak and surfboards to navigate water-covered streets. The Houston fire department brought about 500 to safety in boats.

President Barack Obama said he had assured Texas governor Greg Abbott that he could count on help from the federal government.

Mr Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 24 Texas counties. He said he had deployed the state’s national guard, and was worried the death toll could rise.

“We still have countless people who are missing,” he told CNN. – (Reuters)