Mr. Speaker, the rains came down and the floods came up. And although Texas did not receive Noah's 40 days and 40 nights of rain, the recent 10 days of rain were of Biblical proportions.
The whole State received the incessant rain. And about the time we thought it was all over on Saturday morning, it all happened again Saturday night, flooding many of the same homes and communities throughout theState.
In Houston, six, so far, have died. Statewide, there are now 24 deaths. Eleven are still missing in Hays County when the Blanco River rose so fast at night it trapped people in over 200 resort homes that were on theriver--homes that eventually washed away. Many of Texas' rivers--the Trinity, the Colorado, the Brazos, and the San Jacinto--rose at rapid record rates and are still out of their banks.
Weather experts, Mr. Speaker, said so much rain fell in Texas in May that it was enough moisture to cover the entire State in 8 inches of water. That is a lot of rain. Seventy counties have been designated disaster areas. But the rainbow news, Mr. Speaker, is that many, many voluntarily helped their neighbors and strangers survive the troubled waters of the floods.
Here is just one example. The hard rain in Dallas flooded the Trinity River. Dallas is in north Texas. The Trinity River flows south down to southeast Texas near Houston, and the added rain in southeast Texas had theTrinity River the size of the Mississippi River.
As the river rose in southeast Texas, a herd of cattle were trapped in the middle of the river on high ground. This high ground was eventually going to be overcome with water and the cattle would be washed out to sea.The river at this point is between the two small towns of Liberty and Dayton, about 6 miles apart, separated by U.S. highway 90.
So Sunday, in a scene reminiscent of the 1800s roundups, cowboys mounted airboats--yes, airboats, Mr. Speaker--to force the hundreds of cattle into the river and have them swim to safer ground. The only area that had high ground was U.S. highway 90. The highway was above the water, even though water was on both sides of the highway.
The roundup took several hours because, Mr. Speaker, cattle are hardheaded. They did not want to leave the high ground and swim to a highway. So it took several hours to do this. Even the cowboys were lassoing calves and tying them to the airboat so they wouldn't drown. Finally, after many hours, all the cattle were forced up on U.S. highway 90 between Liberty and Dayton, Texas.
Now, what do you do with them? Well, the cowboys, now on horses, along with citizens and other volunteers, herded the cattle down U.S. highway 90 to Dayton, Texas, through Main Street of Dayton, Texas. Thecitizens came out with their kids to see the cattle drive through Dayton, Texas, and they moved these several hundred of cattle to a rail yard where they will be kept, that is the highest area in the county, until the flood waters finally are diminished.
Of course, local businesses helped out: a local store, Casa Don Boni in Liberty; and, of course, the Sonic, always present in Dayton, supported the volunteers with food and drinks; and other businesses as well helped. This is an example of how, during a troubled time, tough times, Texans are helping each other survive this catastrophic flooding.
So, now, Mr. Speaker, that the rains that came down and the flood that came up have subsided and the earth has returned to its dry land, our prayers go out to the ones who lost family, friends, and property. God bless every one of them. And we also give grateful thanks to those that helped each other during the floods of May .
And that is just the way it is.