Tod­dler found on body of mother

Irish Examiner - - World News - An­drew Dal­ton

Au­thor­i­ties found a shiv­er­ing tod­dler cling­ing to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal in Texas after the woman tried to carry her child to safety from Har­vey’s floods.

Cap­tain Brad Penis­son of the fire-res­cue depart­ment in Beau­mont said that the woman’s ve­hi­cle got stuck on Tues­day af­ter­noon in the flooded car park of an of­fice park just off In­ter­state 10.

Capt Penis­son said a wit­ness saw the woman take her 18-month-old daugh­ter and try to walk to safety when the swift cur­rent of a flooded drainage canal next to the park­ing lot swept them both away.

The child was hold­ing onto the float­ing woman when a po­lice and fire-res­cue team in a boat caught up to them a kilo­me­tre down­stream, he said. Res­cuers pulled them into the boat just be­fore they would have gone un­der a rail­road tres­tle where the wa­ter was so high that the boat could not have fol­lowed.

Res­cuers lifted the child from her mother’s body and tried to re­vive the woman, but she never re­gained con­scious­ness. Capt Penis­son said the child was in sta­ble con­di­tion at Chris­tus St. El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal. The iden­ti­ties of the mother and child were be­ing with­held un­til the fa­ther can be no­ti­fied.

Har­vey has killed at least 22 peo­ple since Fri­day, when it made land­fall in Texas as a Cat­e­gory 4 hur­ri­cane. It has now weak­ened to a trop­i­cal storm. Mean­while, pho­tos with pleas for help in find­ing the miss­ing from Hur­ri­cane Har­vey are be­ing posted, cu­tand-pasted and retweeted by thou­sands of peo­ple as des­per­ate fam­ily mem­bers seek loved ones who they fear might be dead, but may only have a dead phone.

No of­fi­cial num­ber of the un­ac­counted-for had been re­leased amid the vast un­cer­tainty of the storm’s fourth day, with au­thor­i­ties say­ing the 18 deaths con­firmed so far could surge.

Pic­tures and pleas for dozens of tod­dlers, broth­ers and grand­fa­thers are cir­cu­lat­ing on In­sta­gram, Face­book and Twit­ter.

“Pleaseeeee,” read the In­sta­gram post­ing seek­ing eight-month-old Paige Booth, show­ing the baby sit­ting on a couch with a paci­fier. Her mother and grand­mother were leav­ing from their Hous­ton home on Mon­day and hold­ing her above their heads as the wa­ter rose to their chests and a cur­rent pushed them along.

“It was rain­ing bad, and the wa­ter was high,” the mother, Ba­jauh Henix, said.

They handed the baby off to a po­lice of­fi­cer on a per­sonal wa­ter­craft, who took the in­fant to higher ground and handed her to a fam­ily in a black pick-up truck, said Ken­nesha Grand, the girl’s grand­mother.

How­ever, when Ms Grand and Ms Henix reached the area where the child was sup­posed to be, no one there knew her where­abouts. After four hours, the mother got a call from a fam­ily. They had Paige, who was re­turned by a po­lice of­fi­cer, com­pletely un­fazed. “She was sweet. She was dry. She was fed,” Ms Grand said.

Don­ald and Me­la­nia Trump with their hats on the visit to Texas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.