Source AP ©

Teenage sisters rescued from car stuck in rushing water in Oklahoma

Teenage sisters had to be rescued from a car stalled in bumper-deep water rushing over a flooded road in a residential area of the city.

Streams overflowed in many parts of Oklahoma on Tuesday, blocking roads and flooding several homes and businesses.

Television news video showed a firefighter, Cpl. Brent Koeninger, in an inflatable raft rescuing the two 16-year-olds from the car, one at a time. Water swirled around the car rising as high as the top of the tires. Koeninger had to break one of the car's back windows during the rescue, but did not have to exit the raft.

About 20 firefighters held onto four ropes attached to the raft, keeping it steady and pulling it to shore after each rescue.

Twins Lauren and Lindsey Penn were both in good condition, said Fire Department spokesman Tony Young.

Lauren Penn, who was driving, told KWTV that when she tried to back up, the current "grabbed the front of my car and pulled me in." Her sister said she moved to the back seat because water was coming in the front and that she was "freaking out."

The road runs along a berm that acts as a small dam on Ski Island Lake, a reservoir in an upscale residential area of northwest Oklahoma City.

Young said a sign on the road marks it as a "low-water bridge" and said that six weeks ago firefighters had to perform another rescue in the area.

About an inch (2.5 centimeters) of rain had fallen in the Oklahoma City area over the previous 24 hours, while other locations of the state had received several inches of rain. Rain has fallen daily in the area for the last two weeks.

In Oklahoma City, the yearly rainfall total entering Tuesday was 28.03 inches (71.2 centimeters), almost 10 inches (25 centimeters) above normal. The National Weather Service has recorded rain every day in Oklahoma City since June 13.

One woman was evacuated from her home Tuesday in north Tecumseh, where 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) of rain fell in less than 12 hours, said Melvin Potter, the city's emergency management director.

At Waurika in southwest Oklahoma, Cow Creek flooded its banks, closing a highway into town and flooding several businesses.

In Pottawatomie County in central Oklahoma, 46 homes sustained major damage, said Don Lynch, the county's emergency management director. Seven commercial buildings and at least one bridge also had major damage, he said. There were no reports of injuries.

Earlier Tuesday, flooding in Texas closed streets and damaged houses and other structures in the Austin area.

Sustained rainfall over the last month has saturated the ground and parts of northern, central and eastern Texas are at high risks of flash flooding, according to the state's emergency operations center.

In North Texas, a severe storm blew a home from its foundation, ripped the roof off at least one house and caused damage to two other homes, a Wise County dispatcher said. No injuries were reported.

More rain was likely on Wednesday across the state, according to the National Weather Service.

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