2 bodies found downstream of Junction RV park where 4 went missing

Texas
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JUNCTION, Texas (KXAN) — Two bodies were found Thursday after four people went missing as the Llano River flooded in Kimble County earlier this week.

The Texas A&M Forest Service said two bodies were found along the edge of the river, nine miles downstream from the RV park where the three men and one woman went missing.

“At approximately 2:00 p.m. we were notified by Texas Parks and Wildlife people in their aircraft that they had spotted something,” Christi Powers with the Texas A&M Forest Service said Thursday evening. “Crews who were on boats were mobilized to the location, and we were able to locate two persons.”

Authorities said more than 100 people were involved in the search for the missing, believed to have been living in the RV park along the river. Their identities have not been made public, but officials said the group were pipeline workers in the Odessa area and were originally from Alabama.

“We are still in search and rescue mode,” Powers said.

Emergency crews from approximately eight local, state and federal agencies searched the riverbed for any indication of the missing people. The river has continued to recede, to the advantage of search and rescue teams.

“I know that there is some predicted rainfall for this weekend, but right now it’s sunny and so we have good visibility… when it comes to aerial, and then we also have more land to work with as the river has receded,” Powers explained.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife helicopter was deployed again Thursday to search new areas from the sky and take a closer look at spots already searched. 

In the hours after the river swelled, first responders helped evacuate 45 people and rescue 19 more, officials said.

Family members of the missing were also on scene to assist with the search.

“We did assign some local law-enforcement to go out with the families,” Powers explained. “Family members from Alabama arrived yesterday and they were very intent on participating, which is understandable.”

At one point, multiple trucks pulled up to the command center, and several people were seen in tears.

“Nothing is confirmed right now, but that’s my family and we’re hurting,” a woman who identified herself as a family member said earlier in the day.

Powers said Hurricane Michael’s landfall on the east coast took a toll on resources, but she believed the emergency response effort would remain strong as the fourth day of the search continued.

Anyone wishing to make monetary donations to the families or first responders affected by the flooding may contact the Kimble County Chamber of Commerce, Powers said.

“We will start out tomorrow, just like we did today and the day before, and continue to search for the remaining two persons,” she said.

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