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Grandmother and her four grandchildren drown in Texas flooding

A grandmother and her four grandchildren drowned in a small Texas town when torrential rains caused massive flooding in their neighborhood early Saturday morning, police said.

Lesandra Ashberry, 64, and her grandchildren ages 9, 8, 7, and 6 were pulled away from their East Texas house in the town of Palestine about 100 miles from Dallas after they attempted to escape waters that rose above their home, the Associated Press reports.

The bodies of Ashberry and her grandchildren were discovered by neighbors and police in and around Ashberry’s house after reports of the missing family reached the authorities about 3:45 a.m., local media reported. As many as 30 people were left homeless as a result of the flooding.

“The water just came up extremely fast,” Palestine Police Chief James Muniz told a Houston news station. “Before they knew it, water was waist high, then chest high, and then it was roof line.”

As torrential rains moved through Palestine, high winds also tore through Lindale, Texas causing roofs and walls to collapse on several homes.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 7 inches of rain descended on Palestine in less than one hour. The service also issued severe thunderstorm and flash flood warning in Houston, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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