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Dallas, Fort Worth Under Flash Flood Warning As Obama Declares Emergency

Torrential rain early Saturday in the north Texas resulted in flash flood warnings being issued in a number of counties. At least 33 people have died in Oklahoma and Texas in the past week due to torrential rainfall, and nearly a dozen others are still missing. Another 13 people were killed in Mexico.

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What We Know So Far

  • Flooding that began over Memorial Day weekend led to disaster declarations in 70 Texas counties by Friday.
  • At least 33 people have died in Oklahoma and Texas. Thirteen people were killed in Mexico.
  • The victims include firefighter Jason Farley in Oklahoma, and Alyssa Ramirez, who was returning home from her senior prom in Texas.
  • On Friday, President Obama issued a federal disaster declaration for affected parts of Texas.

Updates

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Two more victims were found near a Texas river Saturday, where authorities are continuing to search for several missing amongst the storm and flooding.

The two victims, identified by officials only as adult women, were discovered near the Blanco River in Hays County, where eight have been killed as a result of the storms, county officials said in a statement Saturday.

About a dozen people remain missing, including friends and relatives who were in a vacation home that was swept away by rising waters over the Memorial Day weekend in Hays County.

At least 27 deaths in Texas have been attributed to the storms in the last week, according to the Associated Press.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management attributed six deaths to the storms, meaning at least 33 people have died in the states due to the severe weather this past week.

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Images posted Saturday evening showed flood waters flowing into Houston's Minute Maid Park during a game between the Astros and the White Sox.

Flooding inside Minute Maid Park during @astros-@whitesox game

@whitesox can you provide a boat to your loyal fans to get us out of the stadium? #hurryupandwintoo

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Oklahoma Officer Fatally Shoots Man After Rescuing Him From Floods

Two officers tried to rescue a pair of men who were attempting to move a stranded vehicle, but an altercation led to a deadly shooting, officials said. Read the entire story here.

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Several north Texas counties were under flash flood warning Saturday, as torrential rain continued to cause damage in the state.

Torrential downpour in Dallas right now. View of the Trinity River. Flash flood warning until 8:45am CT

The Nation Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for Dallas, Johnson, and Tarrant counties for Saturday morning, with several inches of rain already having fallen.

This was a trail, close to where I live. Its now a river where trees are drowning and people go fishing #dfwflooding

Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Garland, and Mesquite were among a number of cities and towns expected to experience severe flooding.

18th hole looking out from my patio of the Prestonwood Country Club.

Residents were being advised to move to higher ground.

the creek by my house is legit flooding, it's risen ~20 feet to overflow to street level and there are TREES in it D:

"A slow-moving band of thunderstorms moved into the Dallas-Fort Worth area from the west overnight, allowing heavy rain to fall over the same areas for a few hours," according to Weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam.

"A few individual thunderstorm cells that moved into the area from the South also merged with the line of storms increasing rainfall, especially just northeast of Dallas, which enhanced rainfall and led to the dangerous flooding," Lam told Weather.com.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings pleaded with residents not to drive into water on roadways.

Please do not drive into water on roadways or around barricaded roadways. Your safety is our priority.

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President Obama issued a disaster declaration Friday night for flood-affected areas in Texas.

The declaration means federal funding will be available to flood victims in Harris, Hays, and Van Zandt counties. The funding may be used for repairs, loans, and housing. A handful of other counties will receive some limited federal assistance as well.

Crews with FEMA are conducting ongoing damage surveys in affected areas, according to a statement from the White House.

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A total of 35 trillion gallons of water has fallen on Texas over the last month, according to the National Weather Service.

The NWS broke down the numbers and found that all the water is enough to fill a monster stack of gallon jugs.

How much is 35 trillion gallons? 35 trillion 1 gal. milk jugs filled with water would stretch from Earth to our Sun 34 times! #txwx

How much rain in the past week? Other than too much...here are the totals. #dfwwx #txwx #ctxwx #texoma

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott asked for a presidential disaster declaration Friday while also issuing a slew of new county-level declarations.

Abbott's 24 new disaster declarations bring the total number of affected counties to 70. In a statement, Abbott pointed to the number of declarations as an "indication of how severe this ongoing weather situation is."

A presidential disaster declaration would give the affected areas access to federal aid. Abbott added in the statement that the declaration would give communities members "access to all possible resources as they recover and rebuild."

Images from Texas Friday showed extensive flooding still covering homes, cars, roads, and other infrastructure.

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Death toll rises to 24 in Texas as more bodies are recovered.

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Laura McComb, 34, and her 4-year-old daughter, Leighton, are still missing. The body of Andrew was discovered on Friday.

The body of a 6-year-old boy who was in a vacation home swept away by flood waters was recovered Friday from the Blanco River in Hays County. He was identified as Andrew McComb.

The boy's mother, Laura, and sister, Leighton, are still missing. Jonathan McComb, Laura's husband, was released from a hospital on Friday, KVUE-TV reported.

Another body found Thursday along the Blanco River in San Marcos was identified Friday as 73-year-old Ralph Hugh Carey of Corpus Christi. He was last seen in Wimberley, about 15 miles northwest of San Marcos.

Earlier Friday, the body of an 87-year-old man missing after a failed rescue attempt in Brays Bayou in Houston was also identified.

Jack Alter's body was found in the Houston Ship Channel on Thursday evening. His wife, Shirley, and another man, Danny Nguyen, were killed when a rescue raft overturned.

The discoveries brought the statewide death toll in the torrential flooding to 24.

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An overnight thunderstorm in Central Texas resulted in flash floods in Dallas, Austin, and Arkansas, the Associated Press reported.

Jeffery Noble / PR NEWSWIRE

The First Response Team of America tended to Central Texas to assist residents with recovery and relief efforts.

The latest round of flash floods began around 3:30 a.m. on May 29, causing a houseboat carrying 21 people to drift into Lake Travis in Austin. Everyone on the boat was rescued, and nobody suffered any injuries.

A representative of the Dallas Emergency Operations Center told BuzzFeed News that the city's police and fire rescue department had "conducted numerous rescues of stranded drivers" in the area, and that no deaths or major damage to property had yet been reported.

The Dallas Police Department has been tweeting all morning about public street closures and water rescues.

#BREAKING Update on flooding conditions in Dallas from @DallasOEM

The National Weather Service also issued a flood advisory warning to residents near the Arkansas River in Little Rock.

Although only 1-2 inches of rain were recorded in Arkansas last night, the continued rainfall and already wet ground will likely result in flash floods, the Associated Press reported.

Conditions are expected to continue in that area until Saturday evening.

"River forecasts are based on current conditions and rainfall forecasted to occur over the next 18 hours," the advisory read.

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The death toll in Texas and Oklahoma climbed to 21 on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

Eric Gay / AP

A man walks along the Blanco River where sweeping flood waters overturned vehicles and knocked down trees, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Wimberley, Texas.

Four people died in Oklahoma, while 17 died in Texas.

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Hays officials identify 11 still missing after floods: http://t.co/klBVhHAYvr

Texas officials identified 11 people who remain missing after devastating storms hit the region, including eight people who were inside a vacation home as it washed down a river.

Among those inside the home was 34-year-old Laura Shultz McComb, who was in the house with her 4- and 6-year-old children when she called her sister to tell her the house was floating on the river.

"She said, 'I'm in a house, I'm floating down the river. Tell mom and dad. I love you, and pray," Julie Shields told KVUE in Austin.

Officials believe the home struck a bridge and split in two. Relatives told the local news station they hope for a miracle, but are expecting bad news.

"I think recognizing what's happening with the weather, what we all know, and we had expected, they're gone," she told KVUE.

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Three more bodies have been found in Texas after storms devastated the region over the weekend.

At least 32 people have been killed by the storms in Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico as authorities continue to try to account for nearly a dozen people who are still missing.

Tuesday night, authorities in the Austin area said they found two more bodies as water began to recede, the Associated Press reported.

One of the bodies was found as a state trooper flew over Georgetown and spotted a pickup truck, where a body was found nearby. Another body was found inside another vehicle in Travis County, where two occupants were rescued, but a third couldn't be saved, county spokesperson Roger Wade told the AP.

A third body was found in the Blanco River, which had risen to three times its flood-stage level, bringing the death toll to 13 in Texas.

Nearly a dozen people are still unaccounted for in the region, including eight who were in a vacation home that was swept away by the storm.

By Tuesday night, the death toll continued to rise in Oklahoma as well, where the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management attributed six fatalities to the flooding.

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Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday inspected the city of Acuña, promising to bring federal government support to rebuild the areas affected by Monday's tornado.

At least 13 people were killed in Mexico in a storm that has also sparked emergencies in Oklahoma and Texas.

In a statement distributed by the state of Coahuila, which was devastated by the storm, Peña Nieto said federal, state, and local authorities still had to make a complete tally of the damage caused, including the number of homes destroyed.

It was not immediately clear how many people had been affected by the storm, but Coahuila state officials on Tuesday said government agencies distributed more than 7,000 meals to people affected by the storm.

Eight emergency centers had also been established to distribute water and hygiene products.

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At least four people have died in Houston after heavy rains poured and flooded the area, city officials confirmed in a statement.

Two of the victims were found inside their vehicles, including a woman in her fifties who was reportedly stuck inside her truck when the vehicle stalled in high flood waters, Houston Police told KHOU.

Another two bodies were found and believed to have drowned in Braes Bayou.

Authorities believe one of the bodies found in Braes Bayou was that of a man who emergency personnel were trying to rescue early Tuesday morning, but were unsuccessful when their boat capsized in the water.

In a press conference Tuesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker said as many as 4,000 properties may have "significant damage." Authorities were searching property by property, but high water continued to hamper efforts.

About 750 vehicles have been removed from roads in the city by Tuesday afternoon, and about 2,500 vehicles were abandoned.

During the press conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also said disaster declarations due to the severe weather have stretched from "literally the Red River to the Rio Grande."

Flood waters are expected to continue rising, and he asked residents throughout Texas to be careful.

At least nine deaths in Texas have been attributed to the severe weather.

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The death toll in Houston has risen to three, police told ABC News.

HPD confirm victim found dead in car, raising flooding death toll to 3; 3 others still missing http://t.co/FuIqQZtVlG #houstonflood #hounews

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared a disaster emergency in all 77 counties in her state:

In light of additional storm and flood damage, all 77 counties are now under a state of emergency https://t.co/sjWkXqwOmr

Read the declaration here:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott added a further eight counties to his list of disaster declarations:

8 more counties have been added to TX’s disaster declaration. Thoughts & prayers continue to be with those affected http://t.co/CuOUhZ2fhW

The Texan counties now listed as disaster areas include Archer, Bastrop, Blanco, Bowie, Caldwell, Cass, Collin, Comal, Dewitt, Fannin, Garza, Grayson, Harris, Harrison, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Houston, Kendall, Jasper, Johnson, Newton, Nueces, Parker, Red River, San Jacinto, Walker, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Zavala counties.

"The State of Texas has taken brisk action in dispatching all available resources to aid those affected by this severe weather system, and I strongly urge all Texans to exercise every possible precaution to ensure their safety and the safety of their families and neighbors," Abbott said Monday in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with all the communities that are suffering as a result of this weather disaster, and I am grateful for the first responders who have worked tirelessly to provide shelter, care and resources to all impacted areas."

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Here are the latest figures on those killed in Texas and Oklahoma due to the severe weather in recent days:

Caldwell County, Texas: Two confirmed dead, some 30 others missing.Houston, Texas: Two confirmed dead. Reports of a third death.Devine (San Antonio), Texas: One dead.De Soto (Dallas), Texas: One dead.San Marcos, Texas: One dead.Milam County, Texas: One dead (killed by tornado).Claremore, Oklahoma: One dead.Tulsa, Oklahoma: One dead (killed in motor vehicle accident, blamed partly on weather).Kiefer, Creek County, Oklahoma: One dead.

Total confirmed deaths: 11

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Two people are now known to have died in Central Texas, Hays County Commissioner Will Conley told reporters Tuesday, while some 30 people are missing along the Blanco River.

Hays Co Commissioner Will Conley addresses press

A second body was found today in Caldwell County, Conley told reporters, according to the Austin Statesman newspaper.

"We have seen much more widespread floods, but never such a large wall of water moving down one river," Conley said.

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President Obama said he had spoken with Texas Governor Greg Abbott to assure him "he could count on the help of the federal government" as the state reels from the deadly floods.

"We have FEMA personnel already on the ground," Obama told reporters at the White House after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"They are coordinating with Texas emergency management authorities and I will anticipate that there will be some significant requests made to Washington," he said. "My pledge to [Abbott] is that we will expedite those requests to make sure that both search-and-rescue operations [occur] where necessary, but also recovery operations occur as efficiently and as quickly as possible."

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The dam in the Bastrop State Park near Austin breached causing the lake to empty, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife officials.

Panoramic view of where lake used to be at #Bastrop State Park before dam breach

Bastrop County is one of several Texan counties to have had flash flood warnings in the last few days.

Looking at what used to be lake at #Bastrop State Park

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.@sarahhot957 photo appears to show high flood waters on a highway outside of Houston, Texas

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This drone footage shows some of the flood damage in Houston.

View this video on YouTube

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.@abc13houston shows flooding in Houston, Texas http://t.co/OXd1Mzv8in

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The National Weather Service released this map showing parts of Texas received up to seven inches of rain Monday.

8:12 am - Here is a rainfall map with Rainfall Totals from yesterday, May 25th.

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Here's I-10 near Houston:

Photo provided to @BuzzFeedNews shows flooding on I-10 highway near Houston, Texas

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The mayor said one body was found in Brays Bayou, one of the many small rivers that snake through Houston.

Parker said she had seen news reports of a possible third fatality, but she was not yet able to confirm that death.

Declaring an emergency situation in her city, Parker said she had also called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott so he too would declare a disaster, allowing the city to receive federal assistance.

Parker said Houston had been affected by two different types of flooding: street flooding caused by torrential rain fall overnight, as well as the overflowing of bayous.

Many school districts have closed and some city workers have been ordered to stay home, she said. About 50,000 homes were still without power, she said.

Parker also sad fans who stayed overnight at the city's Toyota Center did so mostly out of convenience, not because they were "trapped" in the building. She said the owners of the stadium kept the premises open as a "convenience."

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A TV news reporter took this video of abandoned vehicles on a Houston roadway:

It's like a scene from a post apocalyptic Mad Maxx Beyond The Thunderdome. #houstonflood #KHOU

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Hundreds of fans were forced to stay overnight in Houston's Toyota Center following Monday night's game between the Rockets and the Golden State Warriors.

Toyota Center is advising fans to stay in seats after game due to severe weather outside. Be safe.

The team posted a message on the scoreboard advising fans to remain in the stadium until the weather improved. Food and water was provided to fans.

Rockets player Dwight Howard was also stranded at the stadium.

Dwight Howard Stranded With Rockets Fans as Storm Hits Houston, via @adamclanton https://t.co/dpyIzNUxTq @Storyful

"The weather's pretty bad out, but it's a great place to be with the fans and everybody here," Howard said. "I hope that everybody is safe right now."

View this video on YouTube

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As of 3:50 CT, about 200 people remained in the arena, according ESPN.

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Over the last four days, six people have died in Texas and Oklahoma, including Alyssa Ramirez, an 18-year-old returning home from her senior prom. Another person, whose name is not yet public, died in San Marcos.

Four of the victims died in Oklahoma, including a firefighter, a woman whose car hydroplaned, a 37-year-old man, and a 48-year-old woman, according to CNN.

Twelve people are still missing in Hays County, near Austin, according to a release from the San Marcos officials.

Approximately five to eight inches of rain has fallen in Houston in less than a day, according to the Office of Emergency Management. Houston schools are closed Tuesday as more than 80,000 people are without electricity.

The same storm has killed 13 people in the border city Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, including three children. Approximately 200 people were injured, according to CNN.

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A homecoming queen and high school cheerleader was among those who died in Texas after flood waters swept her car off the road over the weekend.

Alyssa Ramirez, 18, was about 50 miles from San Antonio, Texas, and just minutes from her home when her car stalled in, and was eventually swept away by, flood waters on Saturday. Crews later recovered her body.

She was among a growing list of people who died in widespread flooding in Texas.

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Search teams on Monday night ended their efforts to find survivors of the flash flooding in the Blanco River Valley, the Associated Press reported.

Twelve people who were staying in a home in Wimberley have not been found, and authorities said they will resume efforts to recover any bodies on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the region, residents were asked to shelter in place as tornadoes were spotted.

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One person was killed and others were injured Monday after a tornado hit Milam County, Texas, WBTX reported.

The storm hit the area about 70 miles northwest of Austin around 4 p.m., the station reported. One man was killed inside his mobile home, local authorities said, and four people were injured.

Fatality confirmed from Milam County tornado. I saw the hearse pull away earlier. Difficult to see. Prayers.

Unfortunately there was 1 reported fatality and 4 injured in what was likely tornado wind damage in Milam County earlier today. #ctxwx

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The Bastrop County Texas Office of Emergency Management posted a picture Monday of water rushing over a failed dam.

The dam is located in Bastrop State Park, and authorities urged people nearby to get to higher ground.

Hwy 71 has flooded due 2 Dam rupture in park. Please seek higher ground immediately! Water now moving into Tahitian.

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Flooding covered much of central Austin, Texas, Monday, with images showing cars nearly submerged and creeks swelling over their banks.

Crews in and around Austin spent Monday rescuing people stranding by the rising waters, as well as preparing shelters for evacuees, the Austin Statesman reported. Images also showed flooding in Pflugerville, about 17 miles from Austin.

About 40 miles from Austin, a dam at Bastrop state park also reportedly failed on Monday.

Lake Dam at Bstp State Park has failed. Anyone in the path along Copperas Creek need to seek higher ground. Eastern Tahitian Villiage Area

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Bridges were destroyed, homes were inundated with water, and residents ordered to evacuate after heavy rain pummeled parts of Texas and Oklahoma, resulting in severe flooding over the weekend.

The National Weather Service warned that the flooding had created a "dangerous and life threatening situation" in parts of Oklahoma and Texas.

Flash flood warnings covered dozens of counties, while wind and high water reportedly wreaked havoc on roads and buildings.

On Saturday, a firefighter was killed while he attempted to rescue 10 people.

Capt. Jason Farley was in northeast Oklahoma around 11:30 p.m. when he was swept away. His body was found an hour later in a drainage ditch, according to the Associated Press. He had been a firefighter for 20 years.

At least one other person was also killed in Oklahoma on Saturday.

A 33-year-old woman in Tulsa, died after her car hydroplaned, said Keli Cain, the state's emergency management spokeswoman, according to CNN.

Officials in San Marcos, Texas, said Sunday afternoon that at least one person had been killed in the flooding.

It's with heavy hearts that the City reports the first fatality of this flood event. No word on the man’s identity at this time #SMTXflood

Officials in Hays County, Texas, said Monday that at least 12 people were missing following the floods, CNN reported.

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On Sunday, the National Weather Service warned of a continuing risk of severe weather and flash floods.

"Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected across much of the central and southern Plains towards the Miss. River Valley on Sunday," the NWS said. "The Storm Prediction Center indicates a Slight Risk for these areas. Isolated tornadoes, hail and damaging winds are all possible. Flash flooding is also forecast from central Iowa into southern Texas where the heaviest rainfall is expected. "

Active weather with ongoing flooding concerns across the southern Plains. #mewx http://t.co/boLbulvJ2S

In Oklahoma, the storms swamped roads and stranded people in several counties.

In Blanchard, about 30 miles south of Oklahoma City, high winds tore the roofs off several barns, News 9 reported. In Oklahoma City, water swept into a mall and in Elk City, about 100 miles west, the flood was waist deep, KOCO-TV reported.

In Tulsa, fire fighters responded to 55 calls Saturday night, many of which were to rescue drivers whose cars had stalled.

Update - 55 total responses from 9-11p including fire, EMS, & other incidents. #tulsawx #tulsa

Images on social media showed parts of the town of Purcell under water.

Purcell looking a little wet. (shot with drone via @enablerobotics)

The high water led the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to close more than a dozen roads Saturday evening.

Picture: #Flooding in #Chickasha #OK tonight via @charlarocks #OKwx

Rescuers also pulled people out of high water in Texas, where flash flood warnings stretched across numerous counties.

Flooding hit Wimberley, about 90 miles north of San Antonio. Early Sunday morning, the Blanco River reached a record-setting 39 feet, which the National Weather Service described as "unprecedented flooding."

Numerous water rescues in progress in wimberley area. Unable to provide specifics

Drone footage also showed the extent of the damage.

View this video on YouTube

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The flooding forced firefighters in Wimberley to conduct numerous rescues as water washed over several different roads and bridges. Fire fighters in San Antonio rescued 11 people as of 10 p.m. Saturday, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Significant Flooding is ongoing near Wimberly. Again, A Flash Flood EMERGENCY is in effect for Hays County.

About 400 homes were destroyed in Wimberley, many of them washed away, said Hays County emergency management coordinator Kharley Smith, according to the AP.

Texas #EMTF MPV 801&802 deployed for flood evacuation. #teamwork #txwx @chiefkidd @thedudman78154 @eepley @SATXFire

In Caldwell County, about 70 miles northeast of San Antonio, officials issued evacuation orders early Sunday as the San Marcos River rose to record levels.

#txwx RT @Sophia_beau: Just spoke with some crew from @ATCEMS in San Marcos they are helping with #WimberleyFlood

Officials announced curfews for several counties on Sunday as a result of the damage.

CURFEW BEGINNING 5/24/15 at 9 p.m. and ending at 7 a.m. for San Marcos, Wimberley and Unincorporated Hays County.

On social media, residents shared images of the flood damage.

WHOA~ water line inside @TXStateKappaSig house in #SanMarcos @KappaSigmaHQ Courtesy: Clint Stoeck @KHOU @KVUE @txst

In San Marcos, flooding damaged about 300 homes, the AP reported.

Water cascading into the SA Riverwalk. People here at Casa Rio said they haven't seen it like that. @NWSSanAntonio

Lake Travis near Austin also swelled as a result of the heavy rains.

Look what last night's rain did to Lake Travis... yesterday at noon vs. today at noon. Courtesy: @WeatherBug

On Sunday, a mandatory evacuation was put in place for about 1,000 people who live north of Houston, because officials are concerned that heavy rains may cause a dam to break, the Associated Press reported.

The firefighter who died in Oklahoma was Capt. Jason Farley. An earlier version of this post misstated his name.