BEAUMONT, Tex. -- A trembling toddler, clinging to the body of her drowned mother, has been rescued from a rain-swollen canal in the City of Beaumont in Southeast Texas, authorities reported today.
Capt. Brad Penission of the Beaumont Fire Rescue Department said the Beaumont woman tried to carry her 18-month-old daughter to safety when their vehicle got stuck Tuesday afternoon in the flooded parking lot of an office park off Interstate 10.
Penission said the current of the flooded drainage canal next to the parking lot swept them both away. The child was holding onto the floating mother when a rescue boat spotted them a half-mile away, he said.
Rescuers lifted them into the boat and tried to revive the Beaumont mother, but Penisson said she never regained consciousness. The child was reported in stable condition at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.
The rescue incident report said the mother had been traveling southbound on a service road next to the interstate highway when she encountered high water, and pulled into the parking lot, exiting the car with her daughter a few minutes later.
The report said the rescue boat got to the scene just in the nick of time as the mother and daughter were about to go under a railroad trestle. “Water was up to the trestle and first responders would not have been able to save the child if they had floated under it,” the report added.
Beaumont, 85 miles east of Houston, has been pummeled with several inches of rain from Tropical Storm Harvey the past two days.
The identities of the mother and daughter were being withheld, pending the notification of relatives.