Midwest Could Face Severe Flooding, Other Problems

February 23, 2018

Several states could see severe flooding and other weather-related problems amid a storm system that has brought rain, ice and snow to the Midwest and Great Plains.

The weather already was blamed for several fatalities, including the deaths of four people in a crash in Nebraska.

Melting snow and heavy rain prompted the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings for parts of northern Illinois and flood watches for central Illinois. The fear of a rising Illinois River forced the evacuation late Tuesday of the LaSalle County Nursing Home in Ottawa.

In the Chicago area, as much as 4 inches (10 centimeters) of rain fell overnight Monday into Tuesday and forecasters expected another 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) by Tuesday evening.

Parts of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula were seeing flooding and road closures. In Kalamazoo in southwestern Michigan and the surrounding area, some roads were closed Tuesday due to high water. Temperatures have warmed and the weather service said rainfall was expected to total 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) or more in places.

Flood warnings have been in effect in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, with flood watches in Texas and Arkansas. The weather service issued winter weather advisories for parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

A 52-year-old Bourbonnais, Illinois, woman was found dead Tuesday in a submerged car in Peotone, south of Chicago. Peotone Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Bruce Boyle said the woman apparently lost control of her car on southbound Illinois Route 45 and ended up in a rain-filed ditch.

In eastern Nebraska, speed and slippery pavement caused a crash between a pickup truck and a semitrailer Tuesday that killed four people on Interstate 80, police said. The three men and one woman killed were from Colorado, authorities said.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said a 38-year-old woman died and two other people were injured in a collision on an icy highway late Monday. In Minnesota, state police said winter weather contributed to 400 crashes and 250 spinouts, including two fatal accidents.

The storm system stretched to Texas, where weather service officials said three weaker EF0 tornadoes hit. One struck early Tuesday in a rural area near Joshua, destroying at least two mobile homes and severely damaging several others. A mother and her disabled daughter were injured when one twister demolished their mobile home.

After the tornadoes came the rain. Up to 4.5 inches (11.4 centimeters) of it fell in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by 8 p.m. Tuesday, causing some flooding.

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