Devastating floodwaters create state of emergency in Missouri
Another round of storms moved through Kansas City on Sunday morning, and the threat of flash floods grew stronger as Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency because of flooding across southern Missouri.
Rainfall is expected through 7 p.m. Sunday, and a total of 2 inches to 4 inches is possible in the heaviest-hit parts of the KC area with a high of 58 degrees.
Along and southeast of a line from Kansas City to Macon, 2 to 4 inches of rain has already fallen, flooding rivers, creeks and streams, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo. Another round of heavy rain fell Sunday morning and is likely to change to scattered showers by afternoon and into the evening.
The National Weather Service canceled a flood warning for Indian Creek at State Line Road in Leawood.
However, flood warnings remained in effect for other rivers in the Kansas City region including the Blackwater River at Valley City, Mo.; the Crooked River near Richmond; the Fishing River near Mosby; the Platte River near Agency, Sharps Station and near Platte City; and Stranger Creek at Easton.
For the 24-hour-period ending at 7 a.m. Sunday, 1.69 inches of rain fell at Kansas City International Airport.
Sedalia saw 3.24 inches of rainfall in that same period. Other rainfall totals include 0.7 inches in St. Joseph, 1.50 inches at the Wheeler Downtown Airport, 2.50 inches at Johnson County Executive Airport, 2.37 inches at New Century AirCenter, 1.30 inches in Chillicothe, 1.68 inches in Kirksville and 2.67 inches in Lee’s Summit.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says a 72-year-old woman drowned despite her husband’s efforts to save her as their vehicle was swept away by rushing waters Saturday near Clever in southwest Missouri. The patrol says her body was found after waters receded.
The state reported nearly 100 evacuations and nearly three dozen rescues Saturday after a storm that moved from the southwest to the east dumped between 3 to 9 inches of rain on saturated grounds and waterways.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for most of the southern tier of Missouri through Sunday evening.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said on Twitter that many roads had closed because of flooding and that more were likely. It warned drivers to use caution when driving into central and southern Missouri.
It urged drivers to turn around if they see water on the road way and not through it because of the potential to be swept away and drown.
Drivers were urged to check Missouri’s Traveler Information Map for all closures.
The department said both directions of Interstate 44 closed near Hazelgreen on Sunday morning, and the highway may stay closed though Monday evening.
Other major road closures include U.S. Highway 61, which is closed north of Troy. U.S. Highway 60 is restricted to one lane of traffic in each direction.
Residents of far western Kansas awoke to a few inches of snow on the ground Saturday, and a foot or more of snow is possible along the Colorado state line by Monday morning, Marc Russell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Dodge City, told The Wichita Eagle.
A winter storm warning is in effect for more than a dozen counties across western Kansas until 7 p.m. Sunday, with widespread snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches possible.
State officials say up to 150 roads are closed in Missouri, and state parks are closed Saturday and Sunday. Many schools canceled proms scheduled for Saturday.
The State Emergency Management Agency, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Missouri National Guard and Missouri’s Task Force 1 Rescue Unit have deployed resources.
Meanwhile, fatalities were reported and dozens of people were taken to hospitals after a tornado hit a small city in East Texas, authorities said.
Canton Fire Department Capt. Brian Horton said during a news conference late Saturday that “a number of fatalities” were reported, but that it wasn’t yet clear how many, after powerful storms swept through the community earlier in the evening.
The storms left behind a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes in and around Canton, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Dallas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.