Sep 19, 2014 1:45 AM

Search to resume for Texas deputy missing in flood

The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) A search for a missing Central Texas sheriff's deputy is set to resume Friday, a day after her patrol car was found swamped by floodwaters minutes after she radioed for help while checking flooded low-water crossings.

Efforts to locate the deputy had been suspended before nightfall Thursday because of the storms, which were remnants of Hurricane Odile.

Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade says the deputy, whose identity hasn't been revealed, was checking low-water crossings during storms. She radioed shortly before 2 a.m. CDT Thursday to say her patrol car was being washed away in an Austin-area subdivision.

Her empty car was found a short time later awash in floodwaters but she was nowhere to be found.

"We believe she was swept into the low-water crossing by water going down the street," said Wade, who identified the deputy only as a seven-year veteran of the department.

"We were searching all day and we will continue searching until we find something," Wade said.

The National Weather Service forecasts more heavy rain through Saturday over much of West Texas, with flash flood watches extending through Friday night. The rain was to continue through Friday in Southeast Texas.

Rainfall pelted parts of the U.S. Southwest, including in Texas from El Paso to Houston. In Plainview, about 45 miles north of Lubbock, 4 inches of rain was reported over 24 hours ending at 2 p.m. CDT Thursday.

"We are getting moisture from Odile," said Cory Van Pelt, a National Weather Service forecaster in New Braunfels. "We also got a lot of Gulf of Mexico moisture that came in, a combination of the two."

The Austin area received 5 to 7 inches of rain early Thursday, said Van Pelt. About 40 miles north of Austin, near Jarrell, a weather service observer measured almost 1 inches of rain fell within 30 minutes after 4 p.m.

Austin-Travis County EMS was contending with three other swift-water rescues in the region, Cmdr. Mike Benavides said. No injuries were reported in those rescues.


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