Sheila Bradley returned home Wednesday to find nearly all of her belongings ruined by floodwaters that had surged over the banks of the normally placid Simms Bayou.
"I worked hard for so long to make this house something to be proud of, and it was all gone in a short time," she said. "But I can't think about that now. Nothing to do but clean up and move on."
As the sun came out in southeastern Texas Wednesday, the enormity of the situation began to set in: At least 10 people had died as three days of continuous storms dumped up to 30 inches of rain in some areas, overwhelming rivers and waterways.
And as Bradley and her neighbors _ who were among the more than 12,000 people forced to flee _ made tentative steps toward recovery, officials began to assess the damage and provide relief.
A Red Cross spokesman said more than 4,000 people have spent time in 53 shelters in 15 Texas counties, one of the local agencies' largest efforts in recent years. And hundreds of National Guardsmen were called on to help prevent looting and deliver clean water to residents.
State officials said it was too early to tally damage from the flooding, but it was believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Clinton okays flood relief for Ga.
NEW YORK _ President Clinton declared Wednesday that severe weather has created a major disaster in Georgia and said federal aid would be provided to supplement state and local recovery efforts.
Clinton's action makes federal funds available to victims of heavy rains, flooding, high winds and tornadoes in a six-county area that includes Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Decatur, Grady and Taft counties.