Texas floods bring a tide of snakes, alligators and a coffin

More than 1,000 snakes try to escape rising waters by sheltering in kitchens, linen closets and on patios

(Image credit: Getty)

More than 1,000 snakes have slithered into homes in Texas to escape flash-flooding amid the state's wettest May on record.

After heavy rain and severe storms left at least 16 people dead, residents are now facing a new danger: wildlife in their homes.

Rescue services received more than 1,000 calls for help from residents in North Texas and Houston, with snakes spotted hiding in kitchens, linen closets and patios.

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North Texas has several venomous snakes, including rattlesnakes, copperheads and coral snakes – but they are outnumbered by other harmless snakes, including the rat snake, which can grow to six feet long.

Experts told the Dallas Morning News that residents should not attempt to kill any of the reptiles found in their homes as that is when a snake is most likely to defend itself and bite.

One homeowner told the newspaper how she managed to remove a two-foot snake from her living room using a long-handled mop. "I don't kill things," she said. "It's not his fault he landed in the wrong house."

Earlier in the week, a cyclist discovered an occupied coffin in the middle of a road. The body was identified as a woman who died in 2007 and had been buried in a nearby cemetery before the floods washed the casket out of its resting place a few days ago.

Police have also warned parents to keep their children away from flood waters because alligators and stinging fire ants might be lurking close by.

Major Chad Norvell, from Fort Bend County Sheriff's Department in Texas, said alligators travel great distances for mating season at this time of the year, creating hazards for anyone nearby.

One wildlife expert warned that stinging fire ants form a "mat" on the surface of the water. "If people see something that looks like a brown rug floating, that's a nest. Stay away," she said.

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