Mother drowns trying to save toddler during Hurricane Harvey flooding

31 August, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Harvey flooding will get worse before it gets better View Graphic

Authorities found a shivering 3-year-old clinging to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal in Southeast Texas after the woman tried to carry her child to safety from Harvey's floods.

Beaumont fire-rescue Capt. Brad Penisson told the Associated Press that a witness saw the mother carrying her young child, apparently trying to get them to drier ground when water rushing from an overflowing drainage canal swept them away. But the strong current swept the mother and child off a half mile downstream and into a canal.

Two police officers and fire rescue officers used a rubber boat to reach the pair and managed to drag them onto the boat.

The mother was unresponsive, and the child was suffering from hypothermia.

Staff at the hospital said the child was in a stable condition. Rescuers were able to pull them to safety before they went under a railroad trestle.

The mother fought desperately to keep her child's head out of the water.

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Authorities confirmed that they attempted CPR on the woman, but she died.

"Water was up to the trestle and first responders would not have been able to save the child if they had floated under it", police said in the statement.

A spokeswoman for the Beaumont Police Department, Officer Carol Riley, told People Magazine the mother's actions had "absolutely saved the child's life". "When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her".

Harvey has drawn comparisons with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans 12 years ago, killing 1,800 people and causing an estimated $108 billion in damage.

The identities of the mother and daughter are being withheld until the father, who was out of town at the time of the incident, has been notified.

There have been at least 18 people killed by Harvey since it made landfall Friday. Harvey has since weakened to a tropical storm, moved back out onto the Gulf of Mexico then made landfall again. Hundreds of thousands of residents of Texas and Louisiana have been ordered to evacuate their homes.

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