By Jim Forsyth
25 May 2015
(Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday likened the ferocity of flash flooding that killed at least three people to a tsunami, and authorities said a dam had given way in a state park.
Abbott declared states of disaster in 24 counties and flew over the area south of Austin to assess the damage caused by tornadoes, heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and flooding that forced evacuations and rooftop rescues and left thousands of residents without electricity.
"This is the biggest flood this area of Texas has ever seen," Abbott said.
"It is absolutely massive - the relentless tsunami-type power of this wave of water," he said.
He described homes that were "completely wiped off the map" by the dangerous weather system that struck Texas and Oklahoma.
Authorities in Bastrop County, on the southeastern outskirts of Austin, reported in a Twitter feed that Lake Dam had failed in Bastrop State Park. They urged residents in the water's path to seek higher ground.
Accuweather.com said more rain was forecast into late Monday across the eastern half of Texas and Oklahoma, bringing flash floods, tornadoes and winds of more than 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour).
The National Weather Service reported 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) of rain fell in 90 minutes at Marquette, in central Kansas, washing out roads. [more]