The death toll now stands at eight in the Midwest as tornadoes, severe thunder storms and flooding hit Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin over the last five days. The forecast for all three states call for more of the same.
Storms dumped as much as 10 inches of rain on soggy central Indiana beginning June 7, continuing through through Sunday threatening dams, forcing evacuations, inundating highways and sending a scuba team to rescue residents from swamped homes. Officials are calling the flooding the worst in Indiana since 1913.
Teams of USGS hydrographers are preparing to travel to streamflow-gaging stations to keep station instruments operating and to verify streamflow data needed for National Weather Service (NWS) flood forecasts.
Meanwhile, a scuba team was performing swift-water rescues and evacuating homes, dispatcher Zachary Elliott of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department said.
“We have dams failing in the Prince’s Lakes area,” threatening the town of Nineveh about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, Johnson County Commissioner Tom Kite said. Water had reached the first floor of Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin, Kite said.
President Bush has alred declared 29 counties in Indiana diaster areas.
In Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle sought emergency aid for 29 counties. Soldiers were deployed to assist in the evacuation of 24 people in Ontario, Wis. and in Racine and Juneau as well. Southeastern Wisconsin, in Kenosha County also sustained some damage as severe thunderstorms ripped through the area in the evening, June 8.
On Saturday, June 7, two tornadoes tore through Illinois heading east and eventually spinning into Lake Michigan. One tornado headed north and the other south. The southern suburb of Richton sustained heavy damage to commercial buildings and homes as well as apartment complexs before the tornado made its exit.
Estimates of insured damage were not available at this writing.
The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Channel 7-TV-ABC and Comcast News contributed to this story.
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