Texas floods: Enough rain fell in May to cover entire state 8 inches deep

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Story highlights

Houston police say male body found in Brays Bayou; death likely flooding-related

Troopers shot a man dead after receiving a high water call on Friday

CNN  — 

So much rain has fallen this May on flood-ravaged Texas that it could cover the entire state with 8 inches of water, meteorologists say.

Every drop of rain these days is a drop too many in much of Texas, where 22 people have died and President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster.

Over the weekend, a University of Houston student saw an object in Brays Bayou and reported it to campus police, who contacted Houston authorities, according to Houston Police Department Sgt. J.T. Parker. Police found a male body, and a preliminary investigation suggests the death is related to flooding, said Parker.

Elsewhere near Houston, police evacuated residents from 20 homes in the suburb of Rosenberg on Saturday. Residents in at least 14 homes more were deciding whether to leave as the Brazos River threatened to rise, Lt. William Henry said.

Several rivers in Texas were at flood stage at 108 locations, the National Weather Service said Saturday, but on Sunday the rain seemed to have let up in the area, according to the service.

CNN affiliate KPRC reported that some 600 cattle were trapped by high waters in the Trinity River. Cowboys came to their aid, steering the larger cattle to a rail yard, and loading calves onto air boats, KPRC said.

Torrential rains have already given Texas the wettest month on record, according to Texas A&M climatologists. And extreme river and creek flooding has broken many records and swept away hundreds of homes.

In all, 37.3 trillion gallons of water have fallen over the state of Texas in May, the National Weather Service said.

While a period of dry weather was expected Sunday in Texas, showers and thunderstorms hit some areas in the Northeast and Southeast on Sunday. Elsewhere, heavy rain soaked Atlanta Sunday afternoon, flooding some metro areas of the city.

Oklahoma wears hip boots, too

Oklahoma has also broken its monthly rain record, according to reports. Seven people have been confirmed dead in the aftermath of drenching rain there. Flooding also killed people in northern Mexico, bringing the total death toll to at least 43.

Some of the victims died in tornadoes.

And highway patrol troopers shot one man dead on Friday, after receiving a call about a stranded motorist related to high water, authorities said. The two troopers found two men with two vehicles, said Capt. Paul Timmons of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

The troopers told the men to come toward them to safer ground out of the high water, Timmons said. But at some point, an altercation broke out, and the troopers fired, killing one of the men.

Late Friday, Obama declared “a major disaster exists in the State of Texas.” He ordered federal aid into the state.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in 70 counties, which allows state resources to be used for storm response.

Barely escaped

The flooding wiped out many homes in San Marcos, which lies between Austin and San Antonio.

Resident Debra Diaz said she is recovering after the floods destroyed everything she owned. “I’m just thankful that I have the boys and my family and friends,” Diaz said.

She was asleep when a friend banged on her door to warn her of the flood. “If it weren’t for her, we would have been stuck in there,” Diaz said. “Water just coming toward us, gushing. I’m talking about water coming to my waist. It was high.”

The family’s car was full of water, so they had to get out on foot. She said the family managed to flag down a school bus, which took them to safety – but just barely.

“The water was already past the tires of the school bus,” she said. “That’s how high it was.”

Ways to help Texas and Oklahoma flood victims

CNN’s Carma Hassan and Melissa Gray contributed to this report.