Texas first responders save toddler clinging to mother who later died after being swept into Harvey flood

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A mother caught in Harvey’s surging floodwaters in Beaumont, Tex., on Tuesday died while trying to escape with her young daughter.

Overwhelmed by the swamped roadway, the woman pulled into a flooded parking lot along Interstate 10 around 3:30 p.m., police said. But the strong current — whipped up by vicious winds — swept the mother and her 18-month-old child a half mile downstream and into a canal.

Capt. Brad Penisson, citing a witness, said the mother had tried walking to safety with her daughter.

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 railroad trestle.

The first responders tried reviving her but she never regained consciousness. The toddler was suffering from hypothermia.

Surrounded by high water and unable to reach an ambulance, a good Samaritan with a truck helped bring the mother and child to the medical transport waiting for them at a nearby intersection.

The mother later died, police said. Police did not immediately identify her because the child’s father was out of town.

The two were among the latest in casualties — rising to at least 18 in Harris County on Tuesday — from the tropical storm wreaking havoc with torrential rainfall along the Texas coast. Beaumont is about 75 miles east of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city.

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