JUNCTION, Texas — Authorities are searching for four people after the South Llano River flooded in Kimble County.
Local and state emergency responders have been looking for the group since recent rainfall caused flooding in the area.
Texas Game Wardens said the three missing people were pipeline workers who worked in the Odessa area, temporarily staying in an RV park by the river.
“We have boat crews that are working out here, as well as aircraft,” Texas A&M Forest Service spokesperson Logan Schershel said. The multi-agency effort included 50 personnel from the Texas Military Department and a Customs and Border Patrol helicopter, which was also seen flying above the river.
Schershel said 45 people were evacuated and 19 people were rescued as floodwaters rose.
Mike and Cinnamon Carter live near the river. They saw a woman in the water and called 911.
“I saw an arm, but it was so far away, it was just very difficult to tell, ‘Am I seeing or hearing what I think I am?'” Mike said.
“It’s just very emotional, I looked over at my wife and she just had mascara running down her face because you know all these emotions going by — you don’t know is the person going to make it or not make it?” Mike said
Cinnamon said she thought about jumping in to try to help the woman, who survived after clinging to debris for 20 miles along the river.
“You had to stand there and you had to watch her float away,” Cinnamon said.
“It’s just a human instinct,” she added. “You want to help the people.”
The woman, who has yet to be publicly identified, was recovering at a hospital in the San Antonio area, her daughter said. She also said the missing people were relatives from Alabama, but those details were not confirmed by authorities Tuesday evening.
Officials said Tuesday another day of rain caused additional trouble for emergency crews.
“The grounds are already saturated so all the water is just running off,” Schershel said. “The river was up to 30-something feet yesterday and then as it started to go back down, we got more rain last night, so now the river is coming back up and it’s just causing a lot of issues with the search efforts.”