Flash flooding and severe storms killed at least two people and three others went missing in Texas and Oklohoma on Sunday, forcing evacuation and leaving thousands of houses without power.
The US National Weather Service said flooding remained still as a threat from central Iowa into southern Texas where the heaviest rainfall was expected.
NWS meteorologist Kurt Van Speybroeck said he hadn’t seen such a flooding for more than two decades or even longer on the rivers in the region, noting that the soil was saturated from heavy rainfall over the past three weeks.
"We just can't take any more water,” said Speybroeck.
Hays County’s rescue team rescued people off rooftops by helicopters, said officials, adding more than 1.000 people have been rescued from more than 400 homes.
"Never in our wildest imagining did we think about the wall of water that would some so quickly or cause so much destruction," Judge Bert Cobb of Hays County said during a press conference on Sunday.
A police spokesman said they found an unidentified body from the flooding in San Marcos, adding three others were still missing.
Hays County ordered a Sunday night curfew for residents due to flooding danger which also threatens the nearby town Luling, Texas, said the NWS.
Oklahoma fire department said Captain Jason Farleya, a 20-year-old firefighter, died overnight in Claremore after he was swept into a storm drain as he was responding to a call to help about 10 people trapped in their homes by flooding.
Claremore Fire Chief Sean Douglas said another firefighter was also swept into a drain, but survived with minor injuries.
"It is a tragic event and a devastating loss for us," said Douglas.