Latest on flooding: Arkansas counties deemed disaster areas

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4:30 p.m. (CDT)

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has issued disaster declarations for five counties hit hard by recent storms and flooding.

Hutchinson toured flooded parts of the state on Friday. On his return to Little Rock, he applauded first-responders.

Arkansas highway officials have closed a pair of roads in southwestern Arkansas because of flooding, and the Pig Trail Scenic Byway is closed north of Cass because part of the roadway has washed away.

Much of the state is on alert for high water, and the Storm Prediction Center posted a tornado watch for western Arkansas and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and Missouri until 7 p.m.

The city of Little Rock closed paths near the Two Rivers Park. An advisory said even snakes could be seeking higher ground.

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4:15 p.m. (CDT)

The mayor of a city about 60 miles southwest of Houston has ordered the evacuation of about 300 flood-threatened homes near the Colorado River.

Paula Favors, a spokeswoman for the city of Wharton, says the mayor ordered those homes evacuated by 5:30 p.m. Friday. She says many residents had already left when the evacuation was voluntary.

The river is expected to crest in the area at just over 43 feet on Saturday morning. Favors says that would likely flood several residential streets in low-lying areas of Wharton, a city of about 8,500 residents.

A shelter opened for residents only had seven people Thursday evening, but Favors says officials expect that figure to increase with the mandatory evacuation.

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Texas and mexican border , Oklahoma flooding - severe weather 5/25 (AP Exchange)
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Latest on flooding: Arkansas counties deemed disaster areas
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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3:20 p.m. (CDT)

The Coast Guard has called off the search for a 51-year-old fisherman who was swept away by rapid river currents, bringing total number of people killed in Texas by recent storms and flooding to at least 23.

The Coast Guard says the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service found a body on a southeast Texas beach on Friday that matched the description of the missing man. He and two other men were fishing in the Brazos River on Thursday when they were caught in the currents.

The other men managed to escape. The dead man's name hasn't been released.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding across the southern Plains and claimed at least 27 lives, including four in Oklahoma. At least 13 people remain missing in Texas.

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3:05 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities have closed several miles of a busy Dallas highway that became flooded, trapping motorists for hours.

Overnight rain caused water to pool under an overpass on Loop 12 northwest of downtown Dallas on Friday morning, stranding morning commuters. All trapped motorists were finally able to drive off after a crane removed a section of median.

Tony Hartzel, a Department of Transportation spokesman, says the section of highway will remain closed until the water recedes and it is deemed safe.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in the southern Plains and have killed at least 22 people in Texas and four others in Oklahoma. About a dozen people remain missing in Texas.

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2:30 p.m. (CDT)

A suburban Dallas police officer had to be rescued by helicopter after his SUV got trapped in rushing floodwaters while he was diverting traffic.

Sachse police spokesman Lt. Martin Cassidy says the rising floodwaters surrounded the officer Friday morning as he was directing traffic away from it.

He was stuck for about two hours. Dive teams first tried to get him out, but couldn't reach him. Eventually, a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter came to the rescue. He was harnessed and then lifted out of the water. He was carried high above the waters.

Sachse is about 20 miles northeast of Dallas.

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2:15 p.m. (CDT)

Forecasters say storms may dump more rain this weekend on areas of Texas that are dealing with major flooding.

The National Weather Service said Friday that there's up to a 70 percent chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms in the Houston area from Saturday afternoon into Sunday. One to 3 inches of rain is expected, on average, but up to 6 inches could fall in some places.

There is up to a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms during that time in the Austin and San Antonio area, with 1 to 2 inches of rain likely.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the high chances of rain returns Friday night, with a 60 percent chance running through Saturday night. As much as 1½ inches could fall.

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2 p.m. (CDT)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for 24 more counties, raising the total to 70 counties with such a designation due to recent storms and flooding or earlier tornadoes.

Abbott said in a statement Friday that other counties could be added as the situation develops. More storms are expected to pass through the state over the weekend, including parts of the state already dealing with major flooding.

The counties added Friday are: Angelina, Burleson, Cherokee, Edwards, Ellis, Fayette, Gillespie, Kaufman, Lamar, Liberty, Leon, Lynn, Madison, Milam, Real, Refugio, Rusk, Sabine, Travis, Tyler, Uvalde, Victoria, Waller and Wharton.

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1:10 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say a body found in the Houston Ship Channel was that of an 87-year-old man who had been missing since a boat he was on capsized earlier this week.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirmed Friday that it was Jack Alter's body recovered Thursday night. It raises the death toll from recent storms in the region to 22 in Texas and four others in Oklahoma.

Alter, his wife, Shirley Alter, and another man were killed Tuesday when a boat capsized while trying to rescue them from a stormy bayou. All three bodies have been recovered.

Thirteen people are still considered missing in Texas, but officials say everyone who went missing in Houston has been accounted for.

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12:40 p.m. (CDT)

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says several southeastern Kansas reservoirs are at flood-stage and that some low-lying areas of that region are already dealing with flooding.

Brownback said Friday that people in those areas need to be careful not to get caught unprepared by flooding.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in the southern Plains and have been blamed for the deaths of 21 people in Texas and four in Oklahoma. Storms are dumping more rain on the region and all of southeastern Kansas is under flood warnings or flash flood watches.

Kansas' adjutant general, Lee Tafanelli, said the state is assessing the damage and trying to project the potential impact of additional rain.

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12:25 p.m. (CDT)

Two Arkansas highways near the state's border with Texas have been closed because of high water on and near the Red River.

Arkansas highway officials on Friday closed U.S. 71 in both directions north of Texarkana. Traffic is being diverted to Hope, 30 miles to the east.

Earlier this week, crews closed Arkansas 41 south of Foreman near where it crosses the Red River into Texas.

The highway department has posted signs and is using electronic messages boards to warn motorists.

The department said the highways will be closed until the water recedes and engineers can inspect the roadways.

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12 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say a man drowned after his truck was swept into a culvert near Dallas, raising the death toll from recent storms in Texas and Oklahoma to 25 people.

Mesquite Fire Department Capt. Kelly Turner says first responders found the dead man early Friday morning in his overturned truck, which was surrounded by floodwaters. He says the truck had been underwater for some time before they found it, and that authorities believe he was alone in the vehicle.

Turner says people stranded on two cars that were also swept off the road told responders about the truck. The driver's name wasn't released.

The recent storms have caused widespread flooding in the southern Plains, killing at least 21 people in Texas and four in Oklahoma. Texas has 14 missing people.

11:45 a.m. (CDT)

Flooding has blocked a busy highway near Dallas, causing major traffic delays in both directions.

Overnight rain caused water to pool under an overpass on Loop 12 northwest of downtown Dallas on Friday morning, trapping commuters for several hours.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Hartzel says a crane was brought in to remove a section of median so that motorists trapped in the southbound lanes could get off the roadway. The northbound lane had already been cleared.

He says the southbound lanes were more challenging because streets where people could have exited were flooded as well.

He says they think that the area where the road usually drains to flooded as well, so there was nowhere for the water to go.

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10:45 a.m. (CDT)

Two forks of the San Jacinto River northeast of Houston have overflowed their banks, but no serious problems have been reported.

Harris County emergency management spokesman Francisco Sanchez says the water from the west fork has poured into the streets of nearby neighborhoods but the homes are on stilts and residents are used to high water.

He says it doesn't have to be a major flood for those conditions to develop.

Sanchez says those who live along the river's east fork are also used to being flooded and isolated, and they haven't reported any serious issues.

The forks combine to form Lake Houston, and the river below the lake eventually becomes the Houston Ship Channel.

Sanchez says highways in Houston and the rest of Harris County are clear.

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10 a.m. (CDT)

The Colorado River is expected to crest two feet lower than previously expected in and around the southeastern Texas city of Wharton, where residents have been asked to evacuate about 300 homes.

City spokeswoman Paula Favors said Friday that river level is expected to crest Saturday morning at 43 feet, not the 45 feet predicted Thursday.

She says a 43-foot crest would likely flood several residential streets in low-lying areas of Wharton, a city of roughly 8,500 residents about 60 miles southwest of Houston.

Favors says residents have been good about heeding the warnings to head for higher ground.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in Texas and nearby states and have been blamed for 20 deaths in Texas and four in Oklahoma. Fourteen people in Texas are also missing.

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9:10 a.m. (CDT)

Arkansas transportation officials have closed a section of southbound U.S. Highway 71 north of the Texas border due to flooding along the Red River.

The state Highway and Transportation Department says it closed a 2.47 miles of the southbound lanes Friday morning and that it may soon also have to close the northbound lanes as well. The road would remain closed until the water recedes and engineers can assess any damage.

A flooded 5-mile section of State Highway 41 near the Texas border also remains closed.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in the southern Plains and have been blamed for the deaths of 20 people in Texas and four in Oklahoma. Fourteen people in Texas also remain missing.

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8:55 a.m. (CDT)

Authorities say the Brazos River in North Texas' Parker County is rising again due to new rain and the opening of two flood gates upstream at Possum Kingdom Lake.

Joel Kertok, the emergency management spokesman for the county west of Fort Worth, said Friday that the river there has risen above flood stage again after dropping below it Thursday night.

On Thursday, water was lapping at the foundations of 11 homes as the river crested at 23.58 feet before dropping to about 20 feet. The flood stage is at 21 feet. The level rose Friday to 21.4 feet and was expected to rise more with the opening of the flood gates.

Residents of about 250 homes near the river, most in the Horseshoe Bend community, were asked to voluntarily evacuate.

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7:55 a.m. (CDT)

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says troopers rescued a man who was swept off a bridge by floodwaters, then jailed him on a public intoxication complaint.

The patrol says the unnamed man was swept away about 8:30 p.m. Thursday while walking across a closed portion of U.S. Highway 70 at the Muddy Boggy Bridge in Choctaw County. Troopers Kevin Antwine and Nathan Mullins put a boat in the water and found the man clinging to a tree about 200 yards south of the highway.

The patrol says that once he was transported back to shore, the man was arrested by Choctaw County sheriff's deputies on a complaint of public intoxication

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7:50 a.m. (CDT)

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for much of Arkansas following heavy rainfall across the state.

Forecasters say there will be several rounds of rainfall in Arkansas this weekend as a slow-moving storm system moves across the southern plains. While rainfall totals will generally be 1 to 2 inches with each round, the rainfall combined with already saturated ground will likely cause flash flooding in the northwest half of the state.

The flash flood watch will remain in effect through Saturday night in portions of central, north central, southwest and western Arkansas. Forecasters say area rivers and streams are already flooding or are nearly full, and any additional rainfall the region gets will not be able to drain into waterways.

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7:20 a.m. (CDT)

A line of thunderstorms stalled while passing over the Dallas area overnight, dropping as much as 7 inches of rain in some areas as vehicles became trapped on flooded streets and water seeped into homes.

Dallas Fire Rescue said early Friday that crews have responded to about 260 calls that include vehicles trapped in high water and accidents related to the weather since midnight Thursday.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ted Ryan says an average of 3 to 5 inches of rain fell across the area after the thunderstorms stalled over the city.

He says the Dallas suburb of Garland got from 6 to 7 inches of rain. He says flooding along a creek there washed some cars down the street.

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6:45 a.m. (CDT)

Johnson County officials say they have evacuated 12 people who were caught in floodwaters.

Officials said some homes in the county some 50 miles south of Dallas were inundated with water late Thursday. Some people were rescued from stranded vehicles.

Texas has been dealing with flooding since heavy rains began at the weekend, worsened by thunderstorms that passed through the state overnight.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for 21 Texas communities including Johnson, Travis and Bastrop counties.

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3:30 a.m. (CDT)

Emergency personnel have rescued the occupants of a houseboat that was adrift in Lake Travis in Austin.

Austin-Travis County EMS says the 21 occupants of the boat rescued Friday were not injured.

Responders say the houseboat broke free from Sandy Creek Marina earlier in the day. The area has been blighted by days of relentless rains. Emergency personnel used three boats to attach the houseboat to the dock at the marina.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for parts of Travis, Williamson and Bastrop counties until 4:45 a.m.

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