Shivering tot found clinging to drowned mom in Texas floods

A toddler clung to her mother in Harvey floodwaters. Only one of them survived.

Authorities have rescued a shivering toddler clinging to the body of her drowned mother in a rain-swollen canal in south-east Texas.

When police and fire service rescuers reached them, they found the mother unresponsive, while the child suffered from hypothermia.

A mother and her toddler daughter were trying to escape rising floodwaters when their truck stalled out in a parking lot in Beaumont Tuesday afternoon.

A pair of Beaumont cops and firefighters in a rubber boat spotted the child desperately clinging to her mother and grabbed the two before they disappeared under a trestle.

Department spokesperson Officer Carol Riley told People that the woman "absolutely saved the child's life". But as she walked through the water with her child in her arms, a sudden powerful current from an overflowing drainage canal close to the parking lot swept them away. The mother pulled over and left the auto with her child when she was swept into the canal and floated half a mile from her vehicle.

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"They were in the water for quite some time", Riley says. Rescuers pulled them into the boat just before they would have gone under a railroad trestle where the water was so high that the boat could not have followed.

'The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom, ' she added. According to Riley, it was clear that the toddler survived because her mother prioritized her child's safety over hers. The child was taken to the Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, and was expected to be released Wednesday.

At least 18 people have now been killed by Harvey since Friday, when it made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane.

The hurricane has since been downgraded to a tropical storm and has made landfall for a second time in the neighbouring state of Louisiana.

Emergency workers continued on Wednesday to rescue people as floodwaters continue to rise after six consecutive days of the tropical storm in southeast Texas.

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