Texas flooding turns deadly as rivers could remain swollen for days

With Saturday's break in the weather came the good news that river levels peaked Friday night along the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, which has seen the worst of the flooding, but it is forecast to remain above flood stage through most of the week ahead.

SAN ANTONIO Flooding in Texas turned deadly Sunday as millions of people across the eastern part of the state continue to face overflowing rivers that could remain swollen for days.

East Texas did see a brief pause from the extreme weather on Saturday before more precipitation and thunderstorms returned Sunday. Some of those storms knocked down trees near Lufkin on Sunday morning, according to storm reports from the National Weather Service.  

There was some good news, however. River levels peaked Friday night along the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, which has seen the worst of flooding over the past several days.

Child dies after being swept away in floodwater

Authorities in Johnson County, just south of Fort Worth, said that a boy was killed after he and two adults were swept away in floodwater Sunday morning. The adults survived the ordeal. FOX 4 reported that the boy was identified as 4-year-old Lucas Warren of Burleson.

700 homes flooded in Polk County, Texas

High waters that reached up to the rooftops of many homes last week led officials to issue mandatory evacuations along the east side of the river and urge residents not to ride out the storms in their homes.

"That means elevated structures will get water … it means the water will be hitting power lines, which puts our emergency evacuation vehicles at risk because they’re not going to be able to see those power lines," Harris County Executive Judge Lina Hidalgo said last Thursday. "Please evacuate that area as soon as possible."

Still, dozens of people and pets needed rescue as crews in boats fanned out across the flooded streets and homes, looking for neighbors who needed help evacuating.

Hidalgo said around 700 homes were flooded upriver in Polk County as well, giving a warning of what was to come Friday as that water pushed downstream into northern Harris County.

River flooding was also reported along the western fork of the San Jacinto River near Kirkwood, though not as severe as along the eastern fork.

In San Jacinto County, residents along the Trinity River downstream of the Lake Livingston dam were told to evacuate earlier last week after the dam had to radically increase its outflow as the upstream watershed collected 17-20 inches of rain within a week. 

Widespread storm rainfall totals of 6-12 inches were measured across the rest of the region.

The long-range forecasts are trending much drier and warmer for the region beginning Monday, with mostly sunny skies and highs near 90 for the week ahead.