Survivor saw van sink with his family
When two sheriff’s deputies found him clinging to a tree, water up to his neck, Samuel Saldivar was distraught and in tears, describing how he watched a van carrying his elderly parents and his brother’s grandchildren sink into Greens Bayou.
After his parents’ Houston home began to flood early on Sunday, Mr Saldivar borrowed his brother’s van and drove to pick up the relatives. He told deputies that while crossing a bridge, a strong current lifted the van and pitched it forward into a drainage channel.
He climbed out of the driver’s window but the van’s sliding door was partially submerged and would not open, his sisterin-law Virginia Saldivar said.
He yelled at the children to try to escape from the back of the van, but they were unable to do so.
Ms Saldivar said her brotherin-law could only watch as the van disappeared under water.
She believes her husband’s parents, Manuel Saldivar, 84, and Belia Saldivar, 81, drowned along with her grandchildren Daisy, Xavier, Dominic and Devy.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office could not confirm the deaths because no bodies had been recovered, Deputy Thomas Gilliland said.
“The water levels are so high, we can’t find anything,” he said.
Photos with pleas for help in finding the missing are being posted and retweeted by the thousands as desperate family members seek loved ones who they fear might be dead.
The family of Ruben Jordan, a 58-year-old retired football and track coach from a Houston high school, posted pleas on Twitter and Facebook for 48 hours before they were told he was found dead on Tuesday.