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Drenched Texas Gulf communities brace for more rain; search for missing motorist to resume

Texas Gulf coast communities soaked by flooding that overpowered one city's sewage system and forced school closures prepared for another rainy day Tuesday, as crews planned to resume searching for a motorist who went missing in a flash flood.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches for 11 Texas counties, including Nueces County, where flooding swamped the streets of Corpus Christi on Sunday and Monday and forced more than 100,000 gallons of raw sewage out of a manhole.

Crews planned to resume looking for a missing motorist who called for help Monday after rushing water along Oso Creek near Corpus Christi picked up his small car. The call went dead before authorities could locate the caller.

Texas has been buffeted this summer by tropical storms or their remnants. The rainfall that caused this week's flooding wasn't directly from Hurricane Karl, which made landfall in Mexico on Friday, but the storm's moisture helped make for a "perfect combination," National Weather Service meteorologist Joel Veeneman said Monday.

More rain was forecast Tuesday for parts of the Texas Gulf coast, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

"The water has no where to go but run off as soils are saturated and creeks are full," the weather service said in an advisory.

A shelter in a school gymnasium served several dozen people from a subdivision who had water, up to 3 feet deep, in their homes, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported Tuesday.

A number of districts that suspended classes Monday planned to resume school Tuesday.

The National Weather Service already is calling it a 50-year flood on Oso Creek. Exact figures could immediately be determined because a river-level gauge installed in 1972 stopped working Sunday after the river reached 28.2 feet, about 8 feet past the flood stage.

"We have an assumption that the creek crested at about 31 feet, which would be a historic event, but we aren't sure yet," said meteorologist Roger Gass. "It does appear to be receding."

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Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, http://www.caller.com