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Latest on flooding: Body pulled from Houston Ship Channel

Authorities call for an evacuation of Horseshoe Bend, Texas, because the Brazos River is expected to flood, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. (Rodger Mallison/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram via AP) MAGAZINES OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST) MANDATORY CREDIT

10:45 p.m. (CDT)

The U.S. Coast Guard says a body has been recovered from the Houston Ship Channel.

Officials say the body was spotted in the water Thursday night. The body has not been identified, but officials believe it may be that of an 87-year-old man who went missing earlier this week after being swept away by flood waters.

Earlier, emergency officials reduced the number of missing people in Houston from Monday night’s flooding from two to one.

If the victim is identified as a person who was swept away in the flooding, it would bring the death toll from the recent severe weather to 25, with 21 of those deaths in Texas.

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10 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say the Brazos River has fallen below flood stage at an evacuated North Texas subdivision.

But Parker County Emergency Management spokesman Joel Kertok says officials continue to watch for any effects of Thursday night rains in the vicinity of Possum Kingdom Lake.

Kertok says the river level at Horseshoe Bend fell below the 21-foot flood stage to 20.9 feet Thursday night. That was after the Brazos River Authority closed the floodgates on the Possum Kingdom dam upstream.

The river crested at 23.6 feet around noon Thursday, almost 3 feet above flood stage, and Kertok says said floodwaters lapped at the foundations of 11 homes but rose no further before beginning to recede.

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9:15 p.m. (CDT)

Search teams have found a body on the bank of the Blanco River in San Marcos.

A statement from the city of San Marcos says the Texas Task Force 1 team found the body of an unidentified man in a debris pile Thursday. The body has been sent off for autopsy to determine the man’s identity.

The find raises the number of bodies found in Hays County from last weekend’s flooding to five. Eight people are still listed as missing in Hays County.

The find also raises the number of known dead overall to 24, including 20 in Texas.

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7:45 p.m. (CDT)

Emergency officials have reduced the number of missing people in Houston from Monday night’s flash flooding from two to one.

That was after they determined Thursday that one of the bodies recovered a day earlier turned out to be the second passenger missing from a capsized Houston Fire Department rescue boat.

That reduces the number of people counted as missing statewide from the Memorial Day weekend flooding to at least 14. Twenty-three are known dead, including 19 in Texas, with seven of those in the Houston area.

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7 p.m. (CDT)

Two more bodies have been recovered from flooded Central Texas streams, and authorities have added five more people to the list of the missing.

Officials in Blanco County said Thursday that the body of 42-year-old Zachary Jones of Blanco was found inside his vehicle along the Blanco River early Sunday.

Blanco County emergency management spokesman Ben Oakley says the body of an unidentified man was found Thursday off Ranch Road 32 in the southeastern part of the county. Oakley says an autopsy will be needed to determine the person’s identity.

Oakley also said for the first time that five people are missing in Blanco County. That’s in addition to the 10 people already counted as dead and eight missing in Central Texas flooding.

The developments bring the death toll from the storms and flooding to 23 — 19 in Texas and four in Oklahoma — and the number of missing to at least 15.

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6 p.m. (CDT)

Floodwaters have cut off road access to four subdivisions along a Houston-area river.

Jeff Lindner is the meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District. He says the roads into the subdivisions along the West Fork of the San Jacinto River in Harris County were under up to 3 feet of water Thursday afternoon and were accessible by boat only.

Lindner says residents of between 100-200 homes have evacuated those neighborhoods. Many homes there are on stilts.

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5:50 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say many of the residents from about 300 homes in the small southeastern Texas city of Wharton that have been asked to leave due to possible flooding are taking heed of the warning.

Mayor Domingo Montalvo Jr. says all of the residents he’s talked to whose homes could be flooded by the Colorado River are not staying. The city, about 60 miles southwest of Houston, has opened a shelter but so far only one person is at the facility.

The National Weather Service says the river was at 39.26 feet Thursday afternoon, just above flood stage. The river was expected to crest at 45.5 feet by either late Friday or early Saturday.

Montalvo says more than 60 percent of Wharton’s roughly 9,000 residents live in a flood plain.

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5:15 p.m. (CDT)

A portion of the San Jacinto River in Houston has been overflowing onto roadways affecting four subdivisions, limiting the ability of some residents to leave or return home.

Kim Jackson, Harris County Flood Control District spokeswoman, said Thursday afternoon that the river was at about 53 feet, about 4 feet above flood level. She says it’s expected to stay at that level through Saturday.

She says most of the homes in those neighborhoods are elevated.

Jackson says residents in two neighborhoods of elevated homes at another spot on the river have time to leave before flood level is reached later Thursday. Floodwaters were expected to close by Friday morning the one road still clear.

Jackson says more rain may force the closure of a highway over a reservoir.

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4:50 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say the flooded Brazos River has crested at an evacuated North Texas subdivision and the floodwaters have begun to recede … for now.

Parker County Emergency Management spokesman Joel Kertok says the Brazos River Authority closed the floodgates on the Possum Kingdom Lake dam upstream. That has allowed the river to crest at 23.6 feet about noon Thursday, almost 3 feet above flood stage. He said floodwaters lapped at the foundations of 11 homes but rose no further, and the river had fallen to 22.74 feet by 3 p.m. Thursday, about 2 feet above flood stage, and was expected to fall below flood stage about midnight Thursday.

There’s a big “if” in the forecast, though. Kertok says severe thunderstorms were expected to develop west of the area Thursday evening. If the drop heavy rain on the lake or upstream, and if the Possum Kingdom flood gates reopen, the river levels would rise again downstream.

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4 p.m. (CDT)

Storms have drenched areas of West Texas, flooding streets in some communities and forcing the closure of at least one highway in what is typically one of the state’s driest regions.

Charles Aldrich, a National Weather Service meteorologist, says about 3 inches of rain fell Thursday in Shallowater, a city of about 2,500 residents about 60 miles east of the New Mexico border. A section of Interstate 27 was closed.

Nearby Lubbock got another 1.6 inches of rain, bringing its monthly total to 10.9 inches. Aldrich says more rain is possible later Thursday, which could push Lubbock past its May record of 12.69 inches, which was set in 1941.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, killing at least 21 people. Ten others remain missing in Texas.

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1:45 p.m. (CDT)

Authorities say floodwaters from the swollen Brazos River are lapping at the foundations of 11 homes in a North Texas community west of Fort Worth.

Parker County Emergency Management spokesman Joel Kertok said Thursday that the river has eclipsed its 21-foot flood level and is expected to crest tonight at 24.1 feet. He says it is threatening the homes in Horseshoe Bend, but hasn’t entered any of them yet.

Residents were asked to evacuate about 250 homes there Wednesday.

In Eastland County, just southwest of Parker County, about 20 homes along Lake Leon were flooded Wednesday. Residents of about 100 to 150 homes were asked to leave.

Recent storms have caused widespread flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, killing at least 21 people. Ten people have also gone missing in Texas.

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12 p.m. (CDT)

An Oklahoma emergency official says the state is still trying to get a sense of how many residents were displaced or left homeless by recent storms and flooding.

Keli Cain, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said Thursday that several bridges that service main roads remain flooded in Marshall County, along Oklahoma’s border with Texas, and that some residents are effectively cut off. Atoka and LeFlore counties are also still dealing with the storm fallout.

Cain says some people who had to evacuate their homes in the past few days haven’t been able to return and that the flood threat persists due to swollen waterways.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says nearly 30 roads in at least 18 mostly rural counties remain closed due to flooding or damage.

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11:50 a.m. (CDT)

Authorities in Central Texas say more rain could hamper their efforts to search for eight people who went missing during the storms and flooding of recent days.

Hays County emergency management coordinator Kharley Smith says more rain is expected Thursday night, and it could shift debris fields and complicate efforts to find entangled victims.

A weekend flash-flood along the Blanco River killed at least four people in the area, including a young boy whose body hasn’t been positively identified.

The recent storms have caused extensive flooding in Texas and Oklahoma and have been blamed for a total of 21 deaths. In addition to the eight missing in Central Texas, searchers are looking for two people who went missing in the Houston area.

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11:35 a.m. (CDT)

The National Weather Service says hail, tornadoes and thunderstorms are possible across the southern Plains and that flooding remains the greatest threat for areas that have received record rainfall.

Steve Goss, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says much of the area from western Kansas to West Texas should prepare for thunderstorms later Thursday that will be intense and slow moving. He says the storms could dump up to 3 inches of rain on some areas.

Much of Texas and Oklahoma have received record rainfall this month.

Weather service officials in areas of Texas already hit by heavy rains say the threat of thunderstorms will persist throughout the weekend, and that there is a 50 percent chance of them in the Houston, San Antonio and Austin areas.

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10:40 a.m. (CDT)

The National Weather Service says hail, tornadoes and thunderstorms are possible across the southern Plains and that flooding remains the greatest threat for areas that have received record rainfall.

Meteorologist Steve Goss, of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says much of the area from western Kansas to West Texas should prepare for thunderstorms later Thursday. He says the storms will be intense and slow moving.

Much of Texas and Oklahoma have already received record rainfall this month and forecasters say more rain would likely cause more flooding.

Goss says the storms Thursday are expected to move into the region around noon and could dump up to 3 inches of rain on some areas.

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9:35 a.m. (CDT)

Authorities are asking those who live in about 300 homes in the small southeastern Texas city of Wharton to leave due to the risk of flooding.

Wharton emergency management coordinator Steve Johnson says the Colorado River should crest in the city at about 45.5 feet on Friday night or early Saturday.

Paula Favors, a spokeswoman for the city about 60 miles southwest of Houston, says the river was at about 38 feet Thursday morning, a foot below the flood level. She says it spills into low-lying areas at about 43 feet.

Residents of the most at-risk homes haven’t been ordered to leave, but they are being asked to do so.

Mayor Domingo Montalvo Jr. says more than 60 percent of Wharton’s roughly 9,000 residents live in a flood plain.

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9:05 a.m. (CDT)

Arkansas transportation officials have indefinitely closed a section of highway near its border with Texas due to flooding along the Red River.

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department shut down the section of State Highway 41 early Thursday. Officials say it will remain closed until the water recedes and engineers can assess the damage.

Senior Meteorologist Jason Hansford with the National Weather Service in Shreveport, Louisiana, says up to an inch of rain could fall in southwest Arkansas on Thursday. He says the area has received 5 to 10 inches of rain this month, which is above average.

Up to 2 more inches are possible this weekend and the weather service warns that additional flooding is possible along the Red River.

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7:35 a.m. (CDT)

The Brazos River is almost cresting in North Texas following days of relentless rains, but officials say no homes have flooded in the closest rural community.

Parker County Emergency Management spokesman Joel Kertok says officials are monitoring the situation Thursday in Horseshoe Bend and will know more as the day progresses.

He says the river, which has a flood level of 21 feet, is close to cresting Thursday at 23.46 feet. It will crest at 23.6 feet.

Residents were asked to evacuate about 250 homes on Wednesday, and Kertok says he believes most people decided to leave. He says residents in the area west of Fort Worth were told to stay away for at least two or three days.

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7:10 a.m. (CDT)

The National Weather Service is warning of new flooding across much of Oklahoma, where creeks, rivers and lakes remain swollen from spring showers.

Meteorologist Michael Scotten, in Norman, says two bouts of bad weather should hit the state Thursday. Morning rainfall will likely dwindle before noon, but a system moving in after 2 p.m. could spawn thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes.

Some parts of the state could see as much as 3 inches of rain. The greatest threat for severe weather Thursday afternoon is in western Oklahoma, where tennis ball sized hail and tornadoes are possible.

The service has issued a flood advisory for central Oklahoma and a flash flood watch for most of the state. Oklahoma City is in its wettest month ever recorded with 19.5 inches of rain.

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6 a.m. (CDT)

While the barrage of deadly thunderstorms that hit Texas this week has tapered off, many cities remain in danger, and officials are warning about possible flooding from rain-swollen rivers.

In suburban Houston, subdivisions along the San Jacinto River are expected to flood.

In Wharton, located southwest of Houston, residents in 300 homes on the west side of the city have been asked to evacuate due to the predicted rise of the Colorado River. And in the North Texas town of Horseshoe Bend, about 250 residents were asked to evacuate their homes, as the Brazos River swelled toward its flood stage Thursday.

The death toll from the storms and flooding has climbed to 21 — 17 in Texas and four in Oklahoma. Houston alone had seven storm-related deaths.

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