Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle/AP

"I love you, and pray," Laura McComb said in a frantic phone call to her sister Saturday night

May 26, 2015 02:00 PM

A woman and her two young children are missing after flash floods swept away the Texas vacation home they were staying in.

In a frantic phone call to her sister on Saturday night, Laura McComb said, “We are floating in a house that is now floating down the river. Call Mom and Dad. I love you, and pray.”

Those were the last words Julie Shields heard from her sister, who along with her two children, Andrew, 7, and Leighton, 4, and five members of another family, has been missing since Saturday, according to Texas news station KXAN.

The two families were vacationing together in Wimberley, Texas, a riverside town halfway between Austin and San Antonio, when violent thunderstorms struck and cast their cabin into a river.

Laura’s husband, Jonathan McComb, was the only one to escape. He is being treated for a broken rib, a punctured lung and other injuries at San Antonio’s Brooke Army Medical Center, his father, Joe McComb, told The Washington Post.

“It was going to be a family, fun-filled weekend,” Joe said on Monday. “But then the rain started in the afternoon, and it got dark, and the river did what it did all in a matter of 20 or 30 minutes.”

Authorities said the waters rose 26 feet in one hour, the highest levels Texas has ever seen, The Washington Post reports. Joe said the house was knocked off its supports and swept into the river, and when it hit a bridge, “the whole thing started coming apart” and its occupants were thrown into the water.

No one has heard from Laura, her children or the other family since Saturday night, but after the family dog, Maggie, was found safe on Monday, Joe is holding out hope that his daughter-in-law and grandchildren are still alive.

“There’s no report of any findings whatsoever, which is I guess is good in that there’s still hope,” he told NBC News Monday.

“Our faith in God is that others will be able to pull through this, too,” he told The Washington Post.

Jonathan, Laura, Leighton and Andrew McComb (clockwise from left)
Courtesy Heather Marks

The McCombs’ family friends who were staying with them in the cabin – Randy and Michelle Charba and their son Will, 4, and Michelle’s parents, Ralph and Sue Carey – are among 12 people still missing in Central Texas.

The devastating storms across Texas and Oklahoma have left at least nine people dead and 12 people missing, according to city and state officials.

The Red Cross has set up shelters in the hardest-hit flooding areas. If you would like to help, visit

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