BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — At least two people are dead and five people are missing after this week's torrential rains in Texas and Kansas, officials said Saturday. The same areas face the possibility of more rain over the long Memorial Day weekend.
"It's not going to take very much rain to get us in those flood stages again," said John Brieden, a judge in Washington County, Texas, where more than 16.5 inches of rain fell in places Thursday.
The forecasts through the holiday weekend called for scattered or isolated thunderstorms in Central and southeast Texas. But officials say they will be monitoring local rivers and waterways, which could rise out of their banks in the coming days due to the heavy rains.
Other parts of the U.S. got drenched Friday as well, especially in central Kansas, where the Wichita Fire Department says it is thoroughly searching for an 11-year-old boy went missing after he was swept away by a swollen creek Friday night. The department said on its Facebook page that two cadaver police dogs are taking part in the search.
In the southeast Texas county of Washington, located between Austin and Houston, two people have died and two are missing due to swollen rivers that have overrun communities, washing away mobile homes and causing water to flow into other structures. More than 50 water rescues had taken place since the rains began Thursday morning.
Brieden said Saturday that one person was found dead in a mobile home that was swamped by floodwaters and a second person was found in a vehicle that had gone off a road and into a submerged ditch.
Brieden also said two motorists are missing in separate parts of the rural county: One vehicle was located without its driver, and the other vehicle can't be found. Brieden says the fear is that it may be submerged and won't be located until floodwaters recede.
The Washington County seat, Brenham, received 16.62 inches of rain Thursday, breaking the city's daily rainfall record, said National Weather Service meteorologist Wendy Long.
Near Austin in Travis County, which saw up to 9 inches of rain this week, officials are searching for two missing people whose vehicle was swept off a flooded roadway, according to emergency services spokeswoman Lisa Block.
The National Weather Service said an EF1 tornado hit Thursday in Bryan, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. Bryan officials said 153 homes were damaged, including 53 with major damage.
In Wisconsin, another EF1 tornado damaged about 25 homes and knocked out power to the village of Brandon on Friday, but no one was injured.