Six family members believed dead after van swept away while fleeing Harvey

Hours later, her great-uncle Sammy tried to drive the family to safety but got into difficulty as floodwaters engulfed the van on a bridge.

Sometime Tuesday or early Wednesday, parts of the Houston region will probably break the almost 40-year-old US record for the biggest rainfall from a tropical system - 48 inches (120 centimeters) - set by Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978 in Texas, meteorologists said.

Authorities did say there had been "six suspected flood-related deaths" in Harris County, but it's not clear if they were referring to the Saldivar family. The van was bobbing up and down in the floodwaters as the children screamed. The van plunged into the water as Sammy watched.


"We could briefly look into the van and see at least two bodies that are in there", said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

For now, all the Saldivar family can do is grieve and comfort their surviving relative. "He called it a twig", Ric said. "She had her Quinceañera, and you know, it just.It's just...it's unfortunate because I don't want to ask too many questions at the moment because my aunt is trying to get out herself".

"No sleep & anxiety, please let this pass sooner", 16-year-old wrote about 5:30 a.m. Sunday.


The grim discovery ended three days of anguished waiting for the Saldivar family, who had given up hope the missing six would be found alive but who were desperate to recover the bodies.

Ric Saldivar takes comfort knowing his parents died together.

A GoFundMe account set up to help the family of the dead children was posted to Virginia Saldivar's page. But despite the ravages of Alzheimer's they were still as close as ever. "No matter who was left behind they weren't gonna last much longer without the other one". It brings Ric Saldivar a small measure of comfort.



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