Texas floods death toll reaches 31 and snake bites soar as they flee flooded areas


Waterways: This couple have turned to a canoe to navigate the streets of Houston as flooding continues. The death toll stood at 31 Saturday evening

The deadly floods in Texas continued Saturday as the number of people killed by the rising waters reached 31.

The latest deaths were confirmed as more bodies were pulled from the water around the Blanco River, which catastrophically burst its banks earlier in the week.

Even more rain fell at the start of the weekend, causing even more flooding in parts of the Lone Star State as the repercussions of the bad weather continue to make themselves felt.

In Houston, which has been devastated by the deluge, the Minute Maid Park baseball stadium was flooded during a game between the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox.

Concourses of the stadium were soaked in the afternoon as fans were left to cope with pounding rain - but the game continued, ending in victory for the home team.


Pedal to dry land: An umbrella-wielding cyclist tries his best to navigate flooded Houston


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A more painful consequences of the waters has been a spike in bites from venomous snakes, which have fled their natural habitats en masse to seek dry land in densely-populated areas.

A children's hospital in Dallas said that it has experienced 12 times the usual number of snake bite cases in the past two weeks as victims fall prey to the trapped animals.

Children's Health in Dallas usually treats six bite victims a year, but has seen 12 in the past two weeks.


Bites up: A hospital in Dallas said that it is treating many more bite patients than usual, as snakes flee their natural habitat because of the flooding, and often end up next to humans

The revelation came as the death toll for the flooding - which was declared a disaster by President Obama today - continued to creep up.

Officials said that 28 people had died as of around 1pm today, only for three more deaths to be confirmed by evening.

Two women were pulled from the Blanco River around Wimberley, Texas, during the course of Saturday, with a man's body also found in Dallas. None of the three was identified.

Texas has endured record rainfall in May. This week, flooding turned streets into rivers, ripped homes off foundations, swept over thousands of vehicles and trapped people in cars and houses.

Obama signed a disaster declaration late on Friday to free up federal funds to help rebuild areas of Texas slammed by the storms. No estimate has been given for the damage in Texas.

Flash flood warnings were in place for several counties in North Texas, including Dallas County.


Lost: The van has no hope of escape after waters rose above its wheel arches in constant rains

The National Weather Service forecast scattered thunderstorms along a cold front stretching from Texas to the northeastern United States.

Storms hit Houston with rain and hail during the day. Parts of the city are currently without power, with some 18,000 homes thought to be affected.

Vehicles were reported stuck in flooded streets in Rowlett, a community of nearly 60,000 northeast of Dallas, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Jamie Gudmestad.

Carrollton Police used a raft to help evacuate residents from Sandy Lake mobile home park, submerged by the weekend's torrential rain.

A Lubbock policeman directing traffic around flooded areas was seriously injured when his patrol car was smashed into him by a suspected drunk driver, the department said.

Rivers and lakes around cities such as Houston, Dallas and San Antonio continued to swell above dangerous levels, officials said.

In neighboring Oklahoma, a man was shot dead by at least one state trooper when he fought with officers after being told to get away from rising water on a road near the town of Okmulgee.