West Texans missing after flooding sweeps away Junction RV park

JUNCTION, Texas (AP/CNN) — The Latest on the search for four men missing in West Texas flooding (all times local):

(Photo: Texas Game Warden/@TexasGameWarden)

1:30 p.m.

An official says swift-water boats are patrolling a 35-mile stretch of river for four people who went missing after floodwaters overran a recreational vehicle park in a small West Texas city.

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner said Tuesday afternoon that the boats were patrolling a stretch downstream from the RV park located on the South Llano River in Junction, a city about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin.

She said the boats would be slowly going down the river, as crews hoped to hear anyone who might be in a tree or on a riverbank.

Kellner said an unmanned drone was also on its way to be used in the search.

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10:30 a.m.

The search has resumed for four people missing after a West Texas RV park was overrun by raging floodwaters.

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner says the search resumed Tuesday morning with crews walking the banks of the South Llano River downstream from Junction, Texas, and a few boats going in. She says it is very windy and that the river is rising again, with more rain expected.

She says the current is too strong for some boats to get into the river and because of the weather conditions, no helicopters can get into the air.

Kellner says the four missing are one woman and three men. Earlier, officials said all four are men.

Emergency personnel in helicopters and boats rescued 19 people Monday in Junction, a small city about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin.

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7:30 a.m.

Four men remain missing after a West Texas RV park was overrun by raging floodwaters and authorities are awaiting daybreak to resume their search.

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner said early Tuesday that the South Llano River at Junction is a "muddy mess," full of debris and too dangerous to search until after sunrise.

Kellner says the men are co-workers whose recreational vehicle was among several swept away in the floods after heavy rain late Sunday.

Emergency personnel in helicopters and boats rescued 19 people Monday in the small city about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin.

Kellner says she knows of no one else still missing.

She says all those rescued Monday were checked out by medical emergency personnel. She doesn't know if any of them required hospitalization.
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9:10 p.m. Update Officials say that the four men who are missing after flooding in Junction are from Odessa.

According to Texas Game Wardens, the four men are pipeliners who possibly live in one of the RV parks in the area.

The men have not been officially identified as authorities continue to search for them.
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Emergency crews were searching for four men Monday whose recreational vehicle was among those swept away from an RV park by floodwaters in a small West Texas city, prompting dramatic rescues by helicopters and boats.

Heavy rains started falling Sunday night, causing the South Llano River to rise in Junction, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin. Kimble County Sheriff Hilario Cantu said no fatalities have been confirmed but that "all the RVs, everything, got swept away."

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner said the four missing men worked together and were swept away before daybreak by the South Llano River. The city is located near where North Llano River and South Llano River converge to form the Llano River.

Authorities said 19 people were rescued — 15 by boat and four by helicopter. Kellner said two of the people rescued by air were in a tree with a family dog.

Kellner said all those rescued have been checked out by medical emergency personnel, but it's unclear if any required hospitalization.

Authorities said 40 people had been evacuated from the South Llano RV Park.

Cantu said state and local agencies were helping with the rescues. Authorities said the city of about 2,500 people had been without electricity earlier, but it's been restored.

National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Woodward said radar estimates show that up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain has fallen in the area since Sunday evening.

"The bulk of the heavy rain fell over a several-hour period and it just lined up perfectly that all that fell into that river canyon and it built up and pushed a giant wall downstream," Woodward said. "That's what caused the extreme flash flooding. When you get that quick of a wall to rush down and you get that rapid of a rise in river depths, flash flooding is imminent."

The river has gone down, but it is expected to rise again later. More rain is expected in the area late Monday night and into the overnight hours.

Cantu said that while they know the four are missing from the RV park, there's a possibility that other campers they don't know about are missing. Cantu said the RV park is adjacent to a city park where people can stay overnight but it's not regulated so he doesn't know how many people might have been there.

"The problem with the RV park, as far as getting accounting of people and getting information, the main office was also swept away," he said. "So whatever records they had there are not accessible."




(Photo: Texas Game Warden/@TexasGameWarden)
(Photo: Texas Game Warden/@TexasGameWarden)
(Photo: Texas Game Warden/@TexasGameWarden)
(Photo: Texas Game Warden/@TexasGameWarden)