- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 4, 2002

SAN ANTONIO (AP) More rain fell yesterday on central and southern Texas, already saturated by record downpours that have flooded homes and highways, turning scores of communities into islands.
At least three deaths were blamed on the weather, and one man was missing.
Throughout the region, low-lying areas were under several feet of water, and normally dry creek beds had become bubbling, brown torrents carrying trees, household appliances and debris. More than 100 roads had been closed.
Gov. Rick Perry activated the Texas National Guard to help with relief efforts. Rescue teams used rafts, personal watercraft and helicopters to rescue people from stranded vehicles and flooded homes.
The storm, which began Saturday and intensified Sunday, has dumped more than 16 inches of rain in some areas around San Antonio, and the city had collected 9.5 inches beginning Monday, already a record for July.
The state Division of Emergency Management estimated that heavy rain had affected 29 counties surrounding San Antonio.
The storm had contracted slightly and started edging toward the west and north, but rain fell yesterday across much of the central part of the state and in the lower Panhandle.
The National Weather Service posted flash-flood warnings yesterday for 15 counties, including the Austin and San Antonio areas.
In Utopia, about 75 miles west of San Antonio, a man was washed off a farm tractor and killed Tuesday while traveling to help others, said Travis Hall, a trooper with the Department of Public Safety.
Nearby, another man was swept away from a car stuck in deep water Tuesday. He was still missing early yesterday.
On Sunday, a man drowned in Austin when he fell into a swollen creek.
In Bandera County, the driver of a pickup truck was killed Tuesday when his truck hit a pool of water and slid into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer rig.


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