Thousands of volunteers help search for missing flood victims

 Hays County officials said eight bodies have been recovered after the Memorial Day weekend floods. Three of which, two adult females and one adult male, have yet to be identified.

Volunteers are still searching for 71-year-old Sue Carey, 42-year-old William Charba, 6-year-old William Charba, 34-year-old Laura McComb, 4-year-old Leighton McComb and 81-year-old Kenneth Reissig.

Johnathan McComb was staying with his family and friends in Wimberley when the flood lifted the house off its stilts and swept it down the Blanco River. Johnathan was separated from his family and rescued. His 6-year-old son died in the flood and his wife and daughter are still missing.

Sunday, Johnathan visited Wimberley to thank volunteers searching for his family.

"Yesterday and today have by far been our highest volume days," said Mauri Elbel, spokesperson for volunteer coordinators.     

More than 1,000 volunteers spent Sunday combing through piles of debris along the Blanco River.

"It's just kind of surreal just how far the water line is. Just everything that was washed away, the debris piles that are out there are ridiculously high," said search and rescue volunteer Rebecca Strean.  

People have gathered in Wimberley from all over the United States hoping to offer a helping hand after one of the worst floods to ever hit Central Texas.

"We went to school with one of the members that were missing, so it just felt like we should be out here to support, just giving our best to the community and to the family members out here," said Strean.

Each search team scoured about eight miles Sunday with a little help from the sky and the water.

"Yesterday alone they had four helicopters available for our use at all times. If we needed more we could call them. We had six teams of dogs, we had a high-tech drone system, as well as a number of boats," said Elbel.
    
Officials said rescue volunteers should be at least 18 years old and prepare for heat and the rough terrain.
    
"It's anything from fields to piles of debris to, because of the flooding, there's silt everywhere," said Elbel.

The conditions didn't stop people like Strean who have been in Wimberley searching all week.

"It's a long term process, so we know that we're going to be out here as much as we can, giving as much as we can to rebuild and until everybody's home," said Strean.

Thanks to all the ground covered by search and rescue volunteers this weekend, a smaller-scale, targeted search will begin Monday. That means coordinators will contact specific volunteers and will no longer recruit people to help with search and rescue.




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