Sixth Body Found In East Texas Town As Storm Moves East

Great-grandmother Lenda Asberry, 64, and her great-grandchildren Jamonicka Johnson, 6; Von Anthony Johnson Jr., 7; Devonte Asberry, 8, and Venetia Asberry, 9 were discovered dead around 3:45 a.m. Saturday after floodwaters receded. Facebook photo

DALLAS, May 1 (UPI) — A flash flood that swept through East Texas claimed its sixth victim as it moved east across the Gulf Coast on Sunday.

The flooding also killed a woman and her four great-grandchildren in Palestine early Saturday.

The latest victim was identified as Giovani Olivas, 30, who was swept away by floodwaters, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said later Saturday.

Up to 7.78 inches of rain fell on the town, about 100 miles southeast, according toWeather.com.

“The city of Palestine has suffered the worst flooding event in my 59 years of living here,” said Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington. “I don’t recall ever seeing this much water rise so fast and in such a short period of time.”

A flash flood swept through the home of Lenda Asberry, killing her and her four great-grandchildren.

“She had all four kids trying to lift them up out the water. I don’t know how she was doing it,” Asberry’s son, Doniell Hudnall, told the NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Palestine police said an additional six to eight families were displaced by the floodwaters, but everyone was accounted for.

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More flooding was predicted from Texas to Mississippi through at least Monday.

“The deluge of heavy rain will continue across the Gulf Coast as a slow-moving front drags eastward,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio. “A moist, southerly flow from the Gulf of Mexico will converge with this front and ignite several rounds of heavy showers and thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast states into Monday night.”

Parts of Louisiana already have flooded, including in excess of 6 inches from Lake Charles to near Baton Rouge.

The Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge was closed Sunday morning due to severe weather that moved over the lake, WDSU reported.

According to AcuuWeather, cities that are at risk for flash flooding early this week include Beaumont, Houston and Galveston, Texas; Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans, La.; and Biloxi and Jackson, Miss. Rainfall amounts may exceed half a foot in some locations. {link: Houston was battered by more than a foot of rain in some places nearly two weeks ago.

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