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Severe weather leaves 17 dead in Texas and Oklahoma, more than a dozen missing

Editor’s Note: We are continuing to update this post.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for two dozen Texas counties in the wake of torrential flooding.

“You cannot candy coat it. It’s absolutely massive,” Abbott said.

The floodwaters have left at least 17 dead — including graduating high school senior, homecoming queen and star athlete Alyssa Ramirez — in Oklahoma and Texas. According to the Associated Press, more than a dozen people are still missing, including a group who were staying in a vacation rental that the overflowing Blanco River swept away in the tourist town of Wimberly, located between Austin and San Antonio.

The San Marcos River flows into the Blanco River. Video of flooding by Armando Espinoza via Facebook.

The storms have extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Plains and Midwest. Across the Texas-Mexico border in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, a tornado killed 13 people.

A vehicle left stranded on a flooded Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015.  Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive ammounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches(27.9cm) in some parts of the state, national forecasters reported, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER        (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)

A vehicle was left stranded in Houston. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images.

Already, more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of residents displaced. Three-hundred members of the National Guard are on duty in Oklahoma and Texas to help with cleanup efforts.

Drew Anthony Smith / Stringer Caption:AUSTIN, TX - MAY 25: Ben Sioberman works to get water out of the flooded Whole Earth Provisions Company on Lamar Street after days of heavy rain on May 25, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the damage zone where one person is confirmed dead and at least 12 others missing in flooding along the Rio Blanco, which reports say rose as much as 40 feet in places, caused by more than 10 inches of rain over a four-day period. The governor earlier declared a state of emergency in 24 Texas counties. (Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images)

Ben Sioberman works to get water out of the flooded Whole Earth Provisions Company in Austin. Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images.

In Houston, 10 inches of rain pounded the area overnight. The city’s mass transit system suspended all service, and the Houston Independent School District closed schools today for the 215,000 students.

Flooding comes amid Texas’s five-year drought.

AARON M. SPRECHER / Stringer Caption:Vehicles left stranded on a flooded Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive ammounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches(27.9cm) in some parts of the state, national forecasters reported, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil. AFP PHOTO/AARON M. SPRECHER (Photo credit should read Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images)

Vehicles were left stranded in Houston. Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/AFP/Getty Images.

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