A shivering toddler was found clinging to her mother, who died trying to keep her safe from harm.
The woman, 41, was not identified. She exited her car, which was stuck in high water with her daughter, according to the Beaumont Police Department on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Harvey hit southern Texas on Friday, dumping as many as 50 inches of rain in some places. At least a dozen people have died, according to local media reports.
“At some point she was swept into the canal and ended up floating about [a half] mile from her vehicle,” the department said in a statement.
Two officers then saw that the child was holding on to her mother.
“Water was up to the trestle and first responders would not have been able to save the child if they had floated under it. Officers pulled the child and the mother into the boat and got them to the area of the 3700 block of Bayou. The mother was unresponsive,” the statement reads.
According to officials, the unnamed woman and her daughter were driving on a service road when water inundated their vehicle. Then, the mother pulled the car over and exited the vehicle with her child before she was swept into a canal.
“They were in the water for quite some time,” BPD Officer Carol Riley told People magazine. “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 mother, “absolutely saved the child’s life,” Riley added.
“The baby also had a backpack that was helping her float on her back, and she was holding on to her mom,” Riley was quoted by People as saying.
The mother later died, and the child is now in stable condition.
Here’s the full statement from Beaumont Police:
“Storm Claims Life of Mother- Child in Stable Condition
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 3:37 PM Officers responded to the area of 50 IH10 N, south bound service road in reference to a high water rescue. A Beaumont woman and her young female child were traveling south bound on the service road and got into high water. She pulled her vehicle in to the Plaza 10 parking lot. The vehicle got stuck and the mother exited the car with the child. At some point she was swept into the canal and ended up floating about ½ mile from her vehicle. Two Beaumont Police Officers and two Beaumont Fire Rescue divers in a Zodiac boat, spotted the mother floating with the small child. The child was holding on to her mother. The first responders got to the mother and child just before they went under a trestle. Water was up to the trestle and first responders would not have been able to save the child if they had floated under it. Officers pulled the child and the mother into the boat and got them to the area of the 3700 block of Bayou . The mother was unresponsive. The child was responsive but suffering from hypothermia. First responders took turn performing CPR until they could get her to an ambulance. Water was still high so a citizen helped by allowing first responders to load the mother and daughter in his truck and brought them all to a waiting ambulance at Laurel and 23rd St. The mother died but the child is in stable condition.”
Names are being withheld until family has had time to notify other family and friends.