Water-weary residents of Missouri, Kansas and nearby states are girding for more possible floods after a week of intermittent downpours dumped as much as 15 inches of rain and caused several deaths.
The National Weather Service in Springfield, Mo. forecast heavy rainfall and a risk of floods late Friday through early Saturday across southeast Kansas and parts of central and southern Missouri. More rain is expected through Tuesday, said meteorologist Doug Cramer.
A storm front that arrived on Aug. 2 and stalled over the Plains has hit Missouri's Ozarks region the hardest, with parts of Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma also experiencing persistent rain and spotty flooding, leading to at least four fatalities.
Authorities in southwest Missouri identified 69-year-old Helen Pendergraft of Noel as the woman who died before dawn Thursday as she attempted to drive across a flooded creek near the town of Jane. Early Tuesday, a 4-year-old boy and his 23-year-old mother died when their car was swept up in a flash flood in the south-central Missouri town of Waynesville.
And in Oklahoma City, a 60-year-old man drowned early Friday while trying to rescue a relative who was stranded by floodwaters. Police say the man was swept into a drainage canal and his body was found several blocks away. The relative, who was stranded in a car, escaped without injury.
The slow-moving storm forced mobile home and campground evacuations and closed parts of Interstate 44 in Missouri. A crew of rescuers were themselves rescued after their boat broke down McDonald County. Water rescues were also reported in Kansas, Arkansas and Tennessee.