We regret to inform you that 5 Fort Hood soldiers died last night after their Army vehicle overturned; four other soldiers are still missing.
From NBC News:
A search was underway early Friday for four missing soldiers whose five fellow servicemen died when fast-moving Texas floodwaters swept their truck away.
Three other soldiers inside the vehicle were rescued after the vehicle overturned during a training exercise at Fort Hood military base on Thursday morning. The Army said three bodies first were recovered downstream and two more later that night.
“The search continues for the remaining four missing soldiers,” the base said in a statement Thursday night.
The search for the missing soldiers, though, could be hampered by more bad weather on Friday. Most of Texas was blanketed by flood watches and warnings as of 4 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) and some areas could expect another five inches of rain through Saturday, forecasters said.
Fort Hood in particular could expect “additional rain today” that could become “locally heavy,” Weather Channel Lead Forecaster Michael Palmer told NBC News early Friday. “The ground is already saturated and the rivers are swollen so this is going to hamper flood relief efforts as well as the search.”
Aircraft, boats, dogs and “heavy ground equipment” were deployed by multiple agencies to search for the missing soldiers, who were from the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
The unit had returned from a nine-month deployment in South Korea earlier this year. Their truck — a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle — was swept away at Owl Creek during what has been a period of historic flooding across the entire state.
The names of the soldiers who died have not yet been released.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers, their families and the Fort Hood community,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
The downpour was dumping up to 3 inches per hour in some regions on Thursday, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, two days after Gov. Abbott declared a state of disaster for 31 counties.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the friends and family members of the soldiers who died last night and we pray for the safe return of the 4 missing.