tiptrot.com June 22, 2018

Toledo family grieves loss of relatives believed dead in hurricane flooding

05 September 2017, 06:50 | Mandy Simon

Toledo family grieves loss of relatives believed dead in hurricane flooding


Sixteen-year-old Devy Saldivar wrote "No sleep & anxiety, please let this pass sooner", around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The survivor, who has not been identified, managed to grab onto a branch and told the children to climb out of the back door of the van, but they were unable to do so.

Clinging to a tree branch with the bayou currents rushing around him, Sammy Saldivar watched helplessly as the van carrying his parents and four great-nieces and great-nephews bobbed in the water. "Then he seen the van go down and just go under the water".

Texas officials have yet to confirm the deaths, saying they haven't located the submerged van.

"Sam calls my husband and tells him, 'They're gone, '" she told the AP. "He loved anything Army and playing video games", she said of her grandchildren.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said relatives returned to the scene to look for signs of the van and notified authorities after spotting part of it poking above the water.

Although the driver - the children's great-uncle - was able to escape the vehicle before it went under water, the rest of the family was unable to make it out, KHOU 11 reported.

Gonzalez said that the family was "very traumatized not only from the events we've all experienced, but obviously a very personal loss for them".

Parades, who grew up in Houston and moved to North Carolina in 2012, says the victims are Manuel Saldivar, 84, his wife Belia, 81, Daisy Saldivar, 6, Xavier Saldivar, 8, Dominic Saldivar, 14, and Devy Saldivar, 16.

The van ran into trouble van after it crossed a bridge and hit high floodwater on Green River Drive.

"Just knowing their words of comfort was enough to get me through the day today", Ms. Salazar said.

By Sunday morning, the floodwaters were rising and the family was panicking.

"Unfortunately it seems that our worst thoughts have been realized", Gonzalez told the paper.

The children were the center of the family's universe, their grandmother, Virginia Saldivar, told CNN's John Berman. "He was trying to do the right thing to get them out of the flood. and it just happened". The children's mother had left the four at home, she said. I've spoken with the family that's standing by, to try to update them and comfort them as best I can. The children were good kids, Ms. Salazar and Mr. Gonzales said.

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