Sixth Death Confirmed in Texas Flooding, Including Woman and Her 4 Great Grandchildren

"I don't recall ever seeing this much water rise so fast," the mayor said.

May 01, 2016, 3:14 AM

— -- Rising flood waters claimed the life of a sixth person in Palestine, Texas, local police confirmed Saturday evening.

The mayor of Palestine, Bob Herrington, said in a statement, “The City of Palestine has suffered the worst flooding event in my 59 years of living here. I don't recall ever seeing this much water rise so fast and in such a short period of time...Our first responders worked through the night and made numerous high water rescues."

A 64-year-old woman and her four great grandchildren were found dead amid flooding in the eastern Texas city of Palestine Saturday morning.

Then on Saturday evening, officials announced a sixth fatality, Giovanni Olivas, 30, who was swept under flood waters. His body was found around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Anderson County sheriff Greg Taylor.

The woman and her great grandchildren were found when officers responded to waist-deep flooding on a street in Palestine, Texas, about 150 miles north of Houston, police said.

Two of the children were found in the front yard of a home. The other two children and the woman were found behind some houses. They appeared to have been swept away by the fast-moving waters, police said.

The names of the woman and her great grandchildren were not initially released, but when the sixth fatality was announced Saturday evening, their identities were released: Lenda Asberry, 64; Venetia Asberry, 9; Devonte Asberry, 8; Von Anthony Johnson Jr., 7, and Jamonicka Johnson, 6.

Six to eight other families who live on that street have been displaced, police said. Heavy downpour in Palestine began just after midnight Saturday.

Mayor Herrington said, “It is too early to know the full extent of the damage, we have homes and businesses that have suffered flood damage and many of our roads have suffered significant deterioration as well. Total damage estimates will be developed in the near future and will be available to interested parties."

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