According to the authorities in Texas, emergency workers rescued an 18-month-old toddler found clinging to the dead body of her mother floating in a flooded canal in southeast Texas. The rescue workers said the woman was drowned in Harvey floodwaters in Beaumont as she tried to carry her child to safety.
Capt. Brad Penisson of Beaumont’s fire-rescue department said the woman and her child were swept away after their car got stuck in floodwater. The woman was reportedly driving with her daughter when they encountered high waters. She pulled into the parking lot of an office building off Interstate 10, according to the Independent.
A witness, who spoke with officials, said the woman got out of her vehicle carrying her child and attempted to ford surrounding floodwaters to safety. But as she walked through the water with her child in her arms, a sudden powerful current from an overflowing drainage canal close to the parking lot swept them away.
The current carried the pair into a waterlogged canal. Two police officers and two fire rescue workers who were searching for victims in an inflatable boat spotted the woman’s body being carried downstream from the parking lot. The officers and the fire rescue workers reported they saw the toddler clinging to her mother’s floating body. The rescuers chased the body and caught up with it about half-a-mile downstream from the parking lot.
They pulled the body and the child clinging to it out of the water as they approached a railroad trestle where the floodwater was too high for the boat to approach, the Independent reported.
“They were in the water for quite some time,” Carol Riley, a spokesperson for the Beaumont Police Department, said, according to the Huffington Post. “When the baby was found, the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
The woman drowned in the water while the toddler survived. According to Riley, it was clear that the toddler survived because her mother prioritized her child’s safety over hers.
The rescuers detached the child from her mother’s body and tried to revive the mother, but she did not respond. She was later pronounced dead.
The child was found to be alive but suffering from hypothermia, police authorities said. A Good Samaritan helped the officers to find an ambulance that transported the child to the Christus Southeast Texas Hospital — St. Elizabeth.
Staff at the hospital said the child was in a stable condition. However, police officials said they were withholding the identities of the child and her dead 41-year-old mother until the father returns. He was reportedly out of town when tragedy struck.
The latest tragic report from southeast Texas comes amid news that at least 30 people have died since Friday as a direct result of Harvey. A police officer drowned on Sunday, and six members of a family, including four children, lost their lives after their van was overwhelmed by floodwaters.
Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, according to the New York Times. It weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall.
Emergency workers continued on Wednesday to rescue people as floodwaters continue to rise after six consecutive days of the tropical storm in southeast Texas. The storm has now moved into southwest Louisiana, according to latest reports. It made a second landfall early on Wednesday morning. Hundreds of thousands of residents of Texas and Louisiana have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
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