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The Latest: Witness describes rescue of man from flood

October 8, 2018

JUNCTION, Texas (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the small West Texas city of Junction (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A witness who captured a dramatic helicopter rescue on camera says the saved man was clinging to a tree for his life before being hoisted up from the raging water.

Jamie McDonald captured the scene outside his hotel in Junction, Texas, and said the man appeared bruised and battered after being lowered to a parking lot. He says people began to clap for the man. McDonald, also known as “Adventureman,” is an author and motivational speaker and was visiting the city as he runs across America to raise money for children hospitals. 

He described the scene as “heartbreaking” and says the rescued man was “clinging on to dear life.”

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner says the man rescued was one of four saved by helicopter from the flood waters.

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4:15 p.m.

Weather officials say that more rain is expected in an area where river flooding swept away a recreational vehicle park, prompting rescues by helicopters and boats.

National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Woodward said that after a lull in rain Monday afternoon, more was expected late Monday night and into the overnight hours in the area of Junction, where four people are still missing. Junction is about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin.

Woodward said estimates show up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain fall in the area since Sunday evening. He said that not counting recent rain amount, almost 19 inches (48 centimeters) of rain has fallen there so far this year.

He says 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.”

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3:50 p.m.

Emergency responders say they are actively searching for four missing workers who were in the same recreational vehicle when they were swept away by flood waters in West Texas.

Texas Game Warden Rachel Kellner says the four men worked together and were swept away before daybreak by the South Llano River in the small city of Junction. She reports that authorities have rescued 19 people in total. Fifteen people were rescued by boat while the other four were rescued by helicopter. Two of the people rescued by air were in a tree with a family dog.

She says all those rescued have been checked out by medical emergency personnel, but it’s unclear if any required hospitalization. The river has gone down, but it is expected to rise again later.

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12:55 p.m.

Rescue crews in boats and helicopters are searching for at least four people missing since heavy rain washed away a recreational vehicle park in a small West Texas city.

Kimble County Sheriff Hilario Cantu said Monday morning that no fatalities have been confirmed in the floods in Junction, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Austin, but that “all the RVs, everything, got swept away.”

Cantu says state and local agencies are helping with the rescues. Police say the city of about 2,500 people has no electricity.

National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Woodward says the main flooding is along the South Llano River, next to the RV park. Woodward says radar estimates show that up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain has fallen in the area since Sunday evening.

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