Toddler found on body of mother
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.