NEWTON, Texas — A Southeast Texas county has called for a voluntary evacuation of low lying areas near the Sabine River, which continues to rise after heavy rainfall this week.

Newton County Judge Paul Price issued the voluntary evacuation order for unincorporated parts of the county and declared a disaster in the county on Friday.

The National Weather Service said Friday evening that minor and moderate flooding was occurring in several areas along the river, with some local roads already covered by water and some homes already experiencing flooding.

River levels were expected to continue rising through early next week.

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