Shiv­er­ing tot found cling­ing to drowned mother

Sun.Star Cebu - - WORLD -

Au­thor­i­ties in South­east Texas said they found a shiv­er­ing tod­dler cling­ing to her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal af­ter the wo­man tried to carry the child to safety from Trop­i­cal Storm Har­vey.

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

Squalls from Har­vey were pound­ing Beau­mont with up to 2 inches of rain an hour at the time with 38 mph gusts, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

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

The child was hold­ing onto the float­ing wo­man when a po- lice and fire-res­cue team in a boat caught up to them a half-mile 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.

First re­spon­ders lifted the child from her mother’s body and tried to re­vive the wo­man, but she never re­gained con­scious­ness.

Penis­son said the child was in sta­ble con­di­tion at Christus St. El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal.

The iden­ti­ties of mother and child were be­ing with­held un­til the fa­ther, who was out of town, can be no­ti­fied.

The death toll has risen to at least 18 as three more fa­tal­i­ties have been con­firmed.

The Har­ris County In­sti­tute of Foren­sic Sciences up­dated its storm-re­lated deaths to in­clude an 89-year-old wo­man, Agnes Stan­ley, who was found float­ing in 4 feet of flood­wa­ter in a home.

A 76-year-old wo­man, name not re­leased, was found float­ing in flood­wa­ter near a ve­hi­cle while a 45-year-old man, Travis Lynn Cal­li­han, left his ve­hi­cle and fell into flood­wa­ters. He was taken to a hos­pi­tal, where he died Mon­day.

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