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Punishing rains, flooding turn Houston into a soggy mess; at least 2 killed


More than 11 inches of rain turned Houston into a deadly, soggy mess Tuesday, as rising waters brought an increasing death toll, cut electricty to neighborhoods and stranded motorists in their vehicles.

At least two deaths were reported overnight in Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, bringing to at least 16 the number of people killed by a flurry of storms in Texas and Oklahoma. Authorities just across the border in Mexico were searching for victims in Ciudad Acuña, where a tornado Monday killed 13 people and left at least five others missing.

Nearly a foot of rain fell overnight in parts of Texas, turning rivers and streams into powerful floodwaters that reshaped shorelines and swept away homes.
Authorities said they had narrowed the number of missing to 13 along the Blanco River in central Texas. That included a group of eight people who disappeared after a vacation home in Wimberley was torn from its foundation, pushed downriver and slammed into a bridge.

As many as 40 people were missing, 70 homes were destroyed and about 1,400 houses and properties had been damaged in the torrential rainfall that began Saturday in Hays County, just southwest of Austin and including hard-hit Wimberley, said County Commissioner Will Conley.