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A toddler clung to her mother in Harvey floodwaters. Only one of them survived

People walk back in to help others evacuate their homes near south Beltway 8 up Telephone Rd., Tuesday in Houston.
People walk back in to help others evacuate their homes near south Beltway 8 up Telephone Rd., Tuesday in Houston. AP

Similar scenes have played out across Houston as high winds, heavy rains and floods brought by Harvey sweep across the southeastern part of the state: a moment of terror and a desperate attempt to try to reach safety.

A woman and her 18-month-old daughter were traveling Tuesday on a highway service road in Beaumont, about 85 miles east of Houston, when the vehicle hit high waters, police told the Associated Press.

Authorities said that the mother pulled into a parking lot, got out and grabbed her young child.

But unlike some others who have been able to flee from the state's devastating floodwaters, police said the mother and daughter, who have not been publicly identified, were swept into a canal.

First responders found them Tuesday afternoon - the toddler clinging to her mother - floating toward a railroad trestle, police said in a statement.

A rescue crew was able to save the child, but her mother never regained consciousness, police said.

Capt. Brad Penisson, with the fire-rescue department in Beaumont, told the Associated Press that a witness saw the mother carrying her child, apparently trying to get them to drier ground when water rushing from an overflowing drainage canal swept them away.

Penisson said that when police and firefighters caught up to them about a half-mile downstream, the shivering toddler was still holding onto 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," police said in the statement. "Officers pulled the child and the mother into the boat."

Authorities said the child was responsive but suffering from hypothermia. She is in stable condition, police said.

Rescuers performed CPR on the mother but could not revive her. Authorities said Tuesday that the mother died.

Authorities said they are not releasing the mother and child's names until family members and friends are notified.

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