Texas Floods: Man Clings to Hope After Family Swept Away

Recent flooding has claimed at least 15 lives statewide.

— -- Joe McComb is grasping at little pieces of hope.

His two grandchildren and daughter-in-law have been missing since Saturday, when floodwaters washed away the Wimberley, Texas home where the family was staying.

Joe’s son, Jonathan McComb, suffered a collapsed lung, broken rib and shattered sternum, but he survived. Jonathan’s wife, Laura, and two children, Leighton, 6, and Andrew, 4, remain missing.

The family’s situation reflects a chapter of sadness for Texas. Statewide flooding has claimed at least 15 lives in recent days, including five in the Houston area. Numerous people remain missing.

The family was in Wimberley, Texas, a river town between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, when the house was swept away.

“Jonathan said [that] as they were going down the river, the house hit a bridge and it took the top part of the house off, and with the bottom gone and the top gone, the house just basically splintered,” Joe McComb said.

He added that his faith is helping to sustain him. He hopes against hope that his missing relatives are found alive -- maybe they grabbed onto a tree limb, he suggests -- but he understands the reality of the situation, the chances of survival, the grimness.

“We will get through it. It’s gonna be some dark days. There’s still that glimmer of hope. The clock is ticking. And the longer it ticks, the more percentages drop that anybody is alive,” he said.

One bright spot came Tuesday, when a helicopter search crew spotted a dog hung up on some tree branches -- Maggie, the family’s golden lab. Joe McComb still isn’t sure how the dog survived.

“To me, that was a boost of hope,” he said.

McComb spent Tuesday thinking about his grandchildren. Andrew enjoys playing baseball, “full of energy, a lovable kid,” his grandfather said. Leighton recently had a dance recital.

The family was celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with a bigger group of friends from Corpus Christi, Texas. They knew it was going to rain, but not like this, not so consistently and powerfully.

As the water poured down, Laura McComb made a frantic phone call to her sister, Julia Shields.

"She called me, she said 'I'm in a house. I'm floating down the river. Tell mom and dad I love you and pray,'" Shields told KVUE.

Search crews across Texas have been looking for survivors in flood-ravaged areas. As they do, Joe McComb will continue to hope.