Rain lets up in Texas but some evacuation orders continue

By: 
PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press
Staff Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas began drying out Sunday from drenching storms that caused deadly floodwaters during an Army training exercise at Fort Hood, set rainfall records in Austin and left one soggy coastal county expanding evacuation orders despite showers slowing to a sprinkle.

Forecasts showed Texas was finally catching a break in the weather, but emergency officials near Houston still couldn't catch their breath Sunday as they ordered more Brazoria County residents to leave their homes near the swollen Brazos River.

At least 2,000 homes have been affected by evacuation orders around Rosharon, about 30 miles southeast of Houston, county spokeswoman Sharon Trower said. The river appeared to have finally crested at more than 52 feet but was expected to remain at high flood stages for several more days.

"Sprinkles are not as bad as downpours but it does affect our areas because water has nowhere to go but up and out," Trower said. "It's continuing to spread across the floodplain."

The small community of Bailey Prairie's was the latest area to be included in evacuation orders. Trower said despite the lurking danger to homes there were no reports of injuries or people missing.

More than a foot of rain soaked parts of Texas over the past two weeks. The downpours filled a usually dry creek at Fort Hood with fast-moving floodwaters that killed nine soldiers on Thursday and broke a 50-year-old rainfall record for May at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

Hot and dry weather that is normal for June in Texas is expected to return in the coming week, according to the National Weather Service.

"A good chunk of the state saw some heavy rain for long periods of time. That kind of necessitated the need for flash flood warnings nearly daily," National Weather Service meteorologist Lamont Bain said.

Fort Hood officials on Sunday also identified 25-year-old Spc. Yingming Sun of California as the last of the nine soldiers who died when fast-moving waters washed a 2 ½-ton vehicle from a low-water crossing. The youngest was 19-year-old Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon of San Angelo, who was the only soldier from Texas and had only been in the military since November.

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