Wednesday, May 4, 2016
News reports on Monday indicated authorities in Palestine, Texas identified a sixth victim following flash flooding late last week. Giovani Olivas, 30, was reportedly swept away in the flood.
In under an hour late Friday evening, Palestine was deluged by seven inches of rain, causing residents of one neighborhood to flee to their rooftops. Over 30 buildings, included many homes, in the city suffered significant damage.
Lenda Asberry, 64, a retired school teacher, and her four great grandchildren also drowned during the flood. Onlookers reported the woman was attempting to get the children to safety when they were swept away. Asberry’s daughter told reporters water levels were up to the woman’s neck while attempting to save the children.
One resident of the area told reporters “[her] furniture was floating around” inside her home, forcing her to climb atop her couch to seek safety.
Dark skies blanketed the nearby city of Tyler hours before the storm struck. At least one government office located in the Palestine area was closed on Monday and was slated to remain closed on Tuesday due to water damage. A tornado also ravaged much of nearby Lindale, Texas, resulting in severe damage of at least one residence. The storm system moved up along the US eastern seaboard over the weekend.