Death toll climbs to 19 from storms in Texas and Oklahoma

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Flooding Strands Hundreds in Homes, Parking Lots and Stadium

HOUSTON (AP) -- Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 19 people dead and a dozen others missing.

More rain fell on the hard-hit Houston area, threatening to complicate the cleanup a day after a downpour of nearly a foot triggered some of the worst flooding the nation's fourth-largest city has ever seen. Hundreds of homes were damaged.

Heavy weather continued in other parts of Texas, with hundreds of people west of Fort Worth told to evacuate along the rising Brazos River and flash flood warnings posted in many areas.

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Texas and mexican border , Oklahoma flooding - severe weather 5/25 (AP Exchange)
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Death toll climbs to 19 from storms in Texas and Oklahoma
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 27: The Brays Bayou flows after massive flooding May 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas. At least 19 people have been killed across Texas and Oklahoma after severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes, struck over the past several days, with more rain expected. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)
MIDLOTHIAN, TX - MAY 27: Workers tend to equipment used to pump water from Padera Lake as water pours over a temporary dam on May 27, 2015 in Midlothian, Texas. Officials feared that the temporary dam on Padera Lake would fail due to recent heavy rains in the area. Areas throughout Texas have expierenced flash flooding and numerous deaths due to weeks of heavy rainfall. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, TX - MAY 27: Storm destruction along the Blanco River May 26, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas. Central Texas has been inundated with tornadoes and flash flooding the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, TX - MAY 27: Storm destruction along the Blanco River May 27, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas. Central Texas has been inundated with tornadoes and flash flooding the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 27: Trees are submerged at Buffalo Bayou park after massive flooding May 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas. At least 19 people have been killed across Texas and Oklahoma after severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes, struck over the past several days, with more rain expected. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 27: Diego Singleton's vehicle sits on Allen Parkway, the last remaining vehicle to be towed from underneath the Montrose Blvd. overpass following massive flooding May 27, 2015 in Houston, Texas. At least 19 people have been killed across Texas and Oklahoma after severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes, struck over the past several days, with more rain expected. (Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 26: A house near the Blanco River sustained heavy damage May 26, 2015 in Wimberley, Texas. Central Texas has been hit with severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes over the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 26: Debris is collected in front of Rio Bonito Resort May 26, 2015 in Wimberley, Texas. Central Texas has been hit with severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes over the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 26: Faculty and volunteers organize flood relief supplies at Wimberley High School May 26, 2015 in Wimberley, Texas. Central Texas has been hit with severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes over the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 26: Clothes and other flood relief supplies are gathered at Wimberley High School May 26, 2015 in Wimberley, Texas. Central Texas has been hit with severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes over the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
Vehicles left stranded on a flooded Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive ammounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches(27.9cm) in some parts of the state, national forecasters reported, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)
Water is seen along Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas, on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive amounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches (27.9cm) in some parts of the state, according to national forecasters, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Murphy Canning and Annika Rolston watch as a street remains underwater from days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 26: Debris is collected in front of Rio Bonito Resort May 26, 2015 in Wimberley, Texas. Central Texas has been hit with severe weather, including catastrophic flooding and tornadoes over the past several days. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
A vehicle left stranded on a flooded Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive ammounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches(27.9cm) in some parts of the state, national forecasters reported, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)
Water is seen at the top of a sign along a bike path near Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive amounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches (27.9cm) in some parts of the state, according to national forecasters, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)
Vehicles are left stranded on Texas State Highway 288 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive amounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches (27.9cm) in some parts of the state, according to national forecasters, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Parts of the city are shown inundated after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Rising floodwaters at Shoal Creek are shown after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Parts of the city are shown inundated after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: The flooded Whole Earth Provisions Company on Lamar Street is shown after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Ben Sioberman works to get water out of the flooded Whole Earth Provisions Company on Lamar Street after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Parts of the city are shown inundated after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Tape is stretched across a flooded Sixth Street after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
WIMBERLEY, TX - MAY 25: A vehicle travels Ranch to Market Road 150 on May 25, 2015 outside Wimberly, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)
In this aerial photo a parking lot of Wal-Mart is submerged after the San Marcos River flooded in San Marcos, Texas, Sunday, May 24, 2015. Record rainfall was wreaking havoc across a swath of the U.S. Midwest on Sunday, causing flash floods in normally dry riverbeds, spawning tornadoes and forcing at least 2,000 people to flee. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
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Gadi Shaulsky spent the day cutting wet carpet and padding from his home in Houston's Meyerland section and taking it to the curb. His neighbors were doing the same. A water mark showed that up to 6 inches of water had seeped into the home.

"That was just really frightening. It was just flowing in," said Shaulsky's wife, Jodi. With tears in her eyes, she added: "It's hard to wrap your head around all that needs to be done."

Houston Mayor Annise Parker said two people whose boat capsized during a rescue were missing. Another person was missing in suburban Houston. And in central Texas, crews resumed the search for nine people feared dead after the swollen Blanco River smashed through Wimberley, a small tourist town between San Antonio and Austin, over the Memorial Day weekend.

Matt Meeks and his wife, Natalie, worked to clean up the resort on the banks of the Blanco that has been in his family for five generations, since the 1920s.

Of the 14 rock cabins at Rio Bonito Resort, probably only five will be salvageable, they said. Two were destroyed and seven appeared structurally unsound.

Meeks' parents own the resort, but he took charge of removing the debris and salvaging the furniture because "they're too emotionally tied to the place to decide what gets junked and what stays."

On the night of the flood, they were able to get all 100 guests out safely after the fire chief called to warn that the river was rising. The river had never gotten so close to the cabins before, Meeks said.

This has been the wettest month on record for Texas, and there are still several days left. The state climatologist's office said Wednesday that Texas has gotten an average of 7.54 inches of rain in May, breaking the old record of 6.66 inches, set in June 2004.

Texas has been hit with almost continuous storms for the past week to 10 days. The wettest area has been from Dallas-Fort Worth to the Red River, where some places have gotten more than 20 inches of rain.

Authorities, meanwhile, defended their telephone and in-person warnings to residents ahead of the bad weather but acknowledged the difficulty in reaching tourists and said a messaging system in Houston is awaiting improvements.

"Nobody was saying, `Get out! Get out! Get out!'" said Brenda Morton of Wimberley. She said year-round residents know the risks, but "people who were visiting or had summer homes, you have company from out of town, you don't know. You don't know when that instant is."

Wimberley saw some of the heaviest damage, including the loss of a two-story vacation home that was swept downstream and slammed into a bridge. Eight people in the home were missing, including three children.

Authorities in surrounding Hays County said the warnings included multiple cellphone alerts and calls to landlines.

The first wave of warnings went to phones of registered users, which could have missed many tourists. But officials said that as the danger escalated they used a commercial database that would have delivered a warning to virtually anyone whose cellphone was in range of local towers.

Sheriff's deputies also went along the riverbanks and told people to evacuate, but officials could not say whether those in the washed-away home talked to police.

In Houston, warnings from the National Weather Service were sent to mobile phones, but city officials said they haven't installed a system that would allow them to give residents targeted warnings without the need to register.

The flooding in Houston affected virtually every part of the city. At least 2,500 vehicles were abandoned by drivers, and anywhere from 800 to 1,400 homes were damaged, officials said. The forecast was for 2 to 3 more inches of rain.

Thousands of homes were also damaged or destroyed in the central Texas corridor that includes Wimberley - 744 of them in San Marcos alone, said Kenneth Bell, emergency management coordinator for San Marcos.

The death toll climbed to 19 - 15 in Texas, four in Oklahoma. Houston alone had six storm-related deaths.

The deaths in Texas included a man whose body was pulled from the Blanco; a 14-year-old who was found with his dog in a storm drain; and a high school senior who died Saturday after her car was caught in high water.

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Robbins reported from Wimberley and Lozano from Houston. Associated Press writers David Warren and Jamie Stengle in Dallas, videographer John L. Mone in Wimberley and videographer Joshua Replogle in Houston contributed to this report.

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