Texas Mother Dies Saving Her 3-Year-Old Daughter During Hurricane Harvey Flood: 'The Baby Was Clinging to Her'
A Texas woman saved her 3-year-old daughter from drowning during a flood in Beaumont, Texas, on Tuesday.
Officer Carol Riley, a spokeswoman for the Beaumont Police Department, tells PEOPLE the unidentified 41-year-old was found floating in a canal with her daughter clinging to her.
Riley said the woman “absolutely saved the child’s life.”
“They were in the water for quite some time,” Riley says. “When the baby was found the baby was clinging to her. The mother did the best she could to keep her child up over the water.”
“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back and she was holding on to her mom,” Riley adds.
The mother was driving on the I-10 service road when the water reached high levels. According to a release by the police department, the woman pulled her vehicle into a Plaza 10 parking lot, where it proceeded to get stuck.
At some point, the woman was swept into a canal and floated about a half a mile from her vehicle. She and her child were rescued by two Beaumont police officers and two Beaumont Fire Rescue divers after they spotted the mother floating.
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When rescuers reached them, they found the mother unresponsive, while the child suffered from hypothermia. The mother was pronounced dead shortly after they reached an ambulance. The child is in stable condition, where she will be released into the care of family members tomorrow, Riley tells PEOPLE.
The record-shattering storm touched down as a Category 4 hurricane on Friday, dumping several inches of rain on the Texas Coastal Bend. The storm left homes flooded, many without power and several buildings destroyed.
Local officials reported 30 confirmed and suspected flood-related deaths according to the New York Times.