Infant Swept From Mother’s Arms in Texas Floodwaters

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
September 2, 2017US News
Infant Swept From Mother’s Arms in Texas Floodwaters
A view of the water depth near pumping station #6 on the 17th street canal as New Orleans prepares for flooding from Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 29, 2017, in New Orleans, La. Pump #6 had a fire earlier in the week reducing the pumping capacity. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

A 6-month-old baby was pulled from her mother’s arms amid rising floodwaters in New Waverly, a small city north of Houston, Texas.

Firefighters confirmed the tragedy to ABC 13 and presume that the child is dead. The child was swept into the Winter Bayou.

Rescue teams were helping two men trapped inside a pickup truck when they heard someone crying for help.

New Waverly, Texas (Google Maps)
New Waverly, Texas (Google Maps)

According to the rescuers, a husband and wife were crossing rushing floodwater in their truck when they were swept away together with their infant daughter.

The man and his wife tried to escape the truck and ended up being stuck in a patch of trees downstream from the bridge.

At some point, the infant was pulled from her mother’s arms and has not been seen since.

The rescuers were able to save both the husband and wife and the two men who were stuck in the pickup truck.

New Waverly is approximately 60 miles south of Houston. It had a population of 1,032 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Once confirmed, the baby girl’s death brings the total number of people feared dead from Hurricane Harvey to 51.

Residents wait for rescue at an apartment complex after it was inundated with water following Hurricane Harvey on August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Residents wait for rescue at an apartment complex after it was inundated with water following Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Hurricane Harvey, one of the costliest storms to hit the United States, has displaced more than 1 million people, paralyzed Houston, swelled river levels to record highs, and knocked out the drinking water supply in Beaumont, Texas, a city of 120,000 people.

After Hurricane Harvey came ashore last Friday, much of the damage took place in the Houston metropolitan area, which has an economy about the same size as Argentina’s.

Seventy percent of Harris County, which encompasses Houston, at one point was covered with 18 inches or more of water, county officials said.

When President DonaldTrump visited the Gulf of Mexico coastal region on Tuesday, he met with state and local leaders and first responders, largely focusing on the logistics of the government response rather than the suffering of residents.

In a letter to Congress on Friday, the Trump administration asked for a $7.85 billion appropriation for response and initial recovery efforts. White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert has said funding requests for aid would come in stages as more became known about the impact of the storm.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who accompanied the president on his visit to the Houston relief center, has said his state may need more than $125 billion.

The storm, which lingered around the Gulf Coast for days, dumped record amounts of rain and left devastation across more than 300 miles of the state’s coast.

As water receded, many returned to survey the damage.

Trump visited a relief center in Houston on Saturday to meet with victims of Harvey, the catastrophic storm that triggered severe flooding in Texas and presented his young administration with its most challenging domestic crisis.

Trump earlier landed at Ellington Field military base in Houston after a flight from Washington, dressed in a black rain jacket with no tie.

On his second visit to the devastated state this week, the president was accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, who wore a baseball cap emblazoned with the word “Texas,” green khaki trousers and walking shoes.

The visit gave the president an opportunity to show a warm and empathetic side to victims of the worst storm to hit Texas in 50 years. Some have criticized him for staying clear of the disaster zone during a visit on Tuesday, when he said he did not want to hamper rescue efforts.

At NRG Stadium, the president and first lady hugged and shook hands with people forced out of their homes by the widespread floods. At one point, Trump picked up a child and kissed her on the cheek, and he later sat with a boy playing with toys. Some of the evacuees took selfies with the first couple.

After meeting with flood survivors and volunteers who assisted in relief efforts in Houston, Trump will move on to Lake Charles, Louisiana, an area hammered by the storm later in the week, the White House said.

While Trump visits the region, attention will also turn to Minute Maid Park, where the Houston Astros play their first home baseball games since Harvey devastated the fourth-most populous U.S. city. The Saturday doubleheader with the New York Mets is expected to be wrought with emotion and punctuated with moments to honor the dozens who died as a result of Harvey.

In Orange, Texas, about 125 miles east of Houston, Sam Dougharty, 36, returned on Friday to find waist-high water in his backyard and barn.

His family’s house smelled like raw sewage and was still flooded to the ankles. A calf and a heifer from their herd of 15 were dead.

“This is family land,” he said. “My aunt’s owned it for 40 years and never had water here.”

The area was slowly coming back to life, Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt said on Saturday. But streets remained littered with flooded-out vehicles, and many homes were without power, he said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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