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Friday, November 21 2008, 08:54 PM CST

FOX 25 LOCAL NEWS

The Latest on flooding: Iowa, Illinois get tornado warnings
May 25, 2015 00:31 GMT

By The Associated Press

7:25 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for an area of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

The weather service issued the warning for Scott County, Iowa, and for three communities across the state border in Illinois, Moline, Rock Island and East Moline.

The Scott County warning is in place until 7:45 p.m. and the warning for the Illinois communities is in place until 7:30 p.m.

A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or has shown up on radar in the area and that people should take precautions.

5:45 p.m.

Thunderstorms have knocked out power to more than 8,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Meteorologists say they have no reports of major damage from Sunday's storms, although 51 of Louisiana's 64 parishes and 30 of Mississippi's 82 counties are under a tornado watch.

Entergy Mississippi is reporting more than 2,000 outages in Warren County, where Vicksburg is located, and 960 in neighboring Hinds County, which includes Jackson. Scattered power failures in 21 other counties brought Entergy's total to about 3,500.

Mississippi Power reports 420 outages across 23 counties.

Entergy Louisiana reports 2,000 outages in 28 parishes, with the largest, 300 to 400 each, in Tensas, Richland and Madison parishes.

Swepco reports nearly 1,400 outages in five northwest parishes and Cleco Corp. about 700 in nine central parishes.

4:45 p.m.

A mandatory evacuation remains in place for about 1,000 people ordered from their homes north of Houston because authorities are concerned that heavy rains may cause a dam to fail.

Miranda Hahs, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, says work began on the earthen dam at Lake Lewis on Thursday when soil began sliding away.

She said Sunday that the dam is holding and no water is seeping through.

The dam and lake are owned by Entergy Texas, which operates a power plant on the lake, about 50 miles north of Houston. Water from the lake is used to cool the plant's turbines.

Hahs says more than 400 homes are affected by the evacuation order. It's not clear when residents will be allowed to return.

4:20 p.m.

Storms packing high winds and heavy rain spread out across western Missouri, and forecasters say more is on the way.

Andy Foster, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, says a tornado watch extends from central to eastern Missouri and into Arkansas until 8 p.m. Sunday. He says there's potential for severe storms and tornadoes.

The area is also under a flood watch until early Monday.

Weather service crews are also surveying reported damage in western Missouri south of Clinton after receiving reports of damage to trees and minor damage to homes. It hasn't been determined if the damage was from straight line winds or a tornado.

The weather service is also advising holiday campers to be aware of river and streams levels in their area.

4:00 p.m.

One person has died and three are missing in Central Texas, where hundreds of homes have been destroyed by floodwaters.

San Marcos emergency management coordinator Kenneth Bell said Sunday that the body of a man was recovered. He did not provide details.

Kharley Smith, the emergency management coordinator for Hays County, says 350 to 400 homes were destroyed in Wimberley, southwest of Austin. She says many of the homes were washed away.

Rescue crews are searching for three residents of Wimberley who are missing.

Bell says it's likely the damage in the county amounts to "millions of dollars."

3:00 p.m.

A National Weather Service meteorologist says many factors are responsible for the record-breaking rainfall that has flooded areas of the southern Plains states.

Meteorologist Forrest Mitchell, in Norman, Oklahoma, says El Nino -- a prolonged warming of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures that generally results in cooler air -- coupled with an active southern Jetstream and plentiful moisture from the Gulf of Mexico caused the heavy rain in May.

Wichita Falls, Texas, is experiencing its wettest month on record.

Mitchell says the heavy rains could end a prolonged drought that has gripped the region for years. Moisture content has saturated about two feet below the surface and many of Oklahoma's lakes and reservoirs are full.

Mitchell says the weather pattern cannot be used to predict future events because each is different.

2:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado briefly touched down in Houston and damaged an apartment complex where two people were hurt.

The weather service rated Sunday's tornado an EF-1, with winds of about 100 mph.

The storm damaged rooftops, blew out windows and toppled trees at the apartment complex about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Houston fire officials said about 10 apartments were heavily damaged and 40 others sustained lesser damage.

The injured were taken to a hospital. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear.

Emergency crews searched the complex for people trapped inside but it's believed residents made it out once the severe weather passed.

Twisters have been reported elsewhere this weekend, including in North Texas where the weather service confirmed an EF-1 caused damage in Irving.

1:35 p.m.

Rainfall in some parts of Central Texas has reached record levels, resulting in many rivers and creeks cresting well above normal.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kurt Van Speybroeck said Sunday that Wichita Falls, Texas, has received nearly 14 inches so far in May, making it the wettest month on record with days left to go.

The Wichita River crested at about 21 feet, more than 3 feet above flood stage where it courses through the city. Speybroeck says the record is 24.4 feet.

And in Dallas, the Trinity River was at about 39 feet Sunday -- well above its 30-foot flood stage. The river hits "major flood" stage at 40 feet, which would cause major flooding, close bridges and start to reach the foundations of buildings in an industrial park.

In Oklahoma, the East Cache Creek -- a Red River tributary that divides Oklahoma from Texas -- crested Sunday at nearly 28 feet, so 6.5 feet higher than flood stage.

12 p.m.

Authorities in northeast Oklahoma have identified the firefighter who died after he was swept away by floodwaters while assisting in a rescue.

Claremore Fire Chief Sean Douglas says Capt. Jason Farley was helping rescue about 10 people who were trapped in duplexes in the community that's about 30 miles northeast of Tulsa.

Douglas says Farley was swept into a drainage ditch about 11:30 p.m. Saturday and his body was recovered about 1 a.m. Sunday. Farley had been a firefighter for 20 years.

The National Weather Service says recent storms have set a new monthly rainfall record for Oklahoma City -- 18.19 inches through Saturday. The previous May rainfall record was in 14.52 inches in 2013, and the previous all-time monthly rainfall total was 14.66 inches in June 1989.

11:45 a.m.

About 1,000 people have been evacuated in Central Texas and an evening curfew has been imposed as fast-moving floodwaters have consumed homes, sent downed power lines snaking into neighborhoods and turned roadways into tributaries.

San Marcos city spokeswoman Kristi Wyatt said Sunday that shelters are open. Rescue crews used pontoon boats and a National Guard helicopter to pull people to safety overnight, and some were forced to flee to their rooftops.

Wyatt says some 1,000 homes are damaged across Hays County, a fast-growing area nestled between the San Antonio and Austin metro regions. Five San Marcos police vehicles were washed away and a fire station is flooded.

The Hays County Sheriff's Office issued the curfew Sunday as a public safety measure. The public is asked to "restrict all unnecessary movement."

11 a.m.

A Central Texas resident says rescue personnel used pontoon boats and a helicopter to evacuate people overnight as floodwaters quickly surrounded their homes.

Sixty-two-year-old Rudy Olivo says rescue crews came through his neighborhood along the banks of the Blanco River about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Olivo says water came to the top of the steps leading to his home in San Marcos, which is about halfway between San Antonio and Austin. Other homes in his neighborhood were flooded and many roads in the area were under water.

He says it's the worst flooding he's seen because "the water rose so fast."

Forecasts call for the rain to continue Sunday in the region and be heavy at times Monday, with continued threats of flash flooding.

10:15 a.m.

High winds have damaged rooftops, blown out windows and blown over trees at a Houston apartment complex, and two people were injured.

Houston fire officials initially said a possible tornado had struck the complex at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, but later said in a news release that the damage was caused by "severe weather."

Authorities say about 10 apartments were heavily damaged and 40 others sustained some.

The two injured residents were taken to a hospital. The extent of their injuries wasn't immediately clear.

Emergency crews searched the complex for people trapped inside but it's believed residents made it out once severe weather passed.

9:45 a.m.

Some parts of Texas have seen up to 10 inches of rain in 24 hours, and the waters continue to overwhelm communities.

Dozens of high-water rescues in Central Texas were reported overnight as the Blanco River and other swollen waterways breached their banks and residents early Sunday fled their homes.

The Blanco River swamped sections of Interstate 35 on Sunday, forcing parts of the busy north-south highway to close. The National Weather Service says the river crested Sunday at more than 40 feet; its flood stage is 13 feet.

The weather service has issued flash flood warnings for much of the state, particularly Central and North Texas.

Rain in many areas is expected to diminish somewhat but forecasts call for continued periods of rainfall through the week.

8 a.m.

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for residents in an area north of Houston because authorities are concerned heavy rains may cause a dam to fail.

The evacuation area is between Lake Conroe and nearby Lake Lewis, about 50 miles north of Houston. The Montgomery County Emergency Management office said in a statement Sunday that the dam on Lake Lewis remains intact.

The area received rain overnight and the National Weather Service expects another 2 to 3 inches through Sunday along with damaging winds. Up to 4 inches of rains could fall Monday.

Montgomery County officials say a Red Cross shelter is open in Montgomery to assist residents who have been evacuated.

7:50 a.m.

Authorities in northeast Oklahoma say a firefighter for the city of Claremore has died after being swept away by floodwaters while assisting in a water rescue from a house.

Rogers County Emergency Management spokesman Thomas Hudson says the firefighter died early Sunday morning. The man was standing in some water during the rescue, lost his footing and was swept away. The firefighter's name has not been released.

The flooding is due to days of heavy rain throughout the state, especially in the southwest part, as well as Oklahoma City and Norman. Hudson says the Claremore area is expecting more rain Sunday.

6:30 a.m.

Authorities in Oklahoma and Texas say they have been conducting numerous rescues of residents from flooding areas.

In Hays County in Central Texas, sheriff's Lt. Jeri Skrocki tells The Associated Press that residents in the small community of Wimberley, about 40 miles southwest of Austin, are being urged to evacuate as the nearby Blanco River continues to rise at a record-high level.

She says no serious injuries have been reported and that emergency shelters have been set up for residents at schools, a church, a nursing home and a community center.

In Oklahoma, authorities in Cleveland and Comanche counties say in news releases that they also have assisted with rescues after flooding, including people trapped in their attics and on their roofs.

10:20 p.m.

A music festival in Oklahoma is being evacuated because of inclement weather.

Officials with the Rocklahoma festival in Pryor, about 50 miles west of Tulsa, urged attendees around 9 p.m. to head to their cars or the nearby camping area to wait out the incoming weather. They later stressed the campgrounds were not being evacuated.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says at least 15 highways have been closed across the state due to high water from the recent flooding. It also caused damage to a gas station and mall in Oklahoma City.

Evacuation orders have been issued in Elk City, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas, amid warnings from the National Weather Service about potentially historic flooding.

9:20 p.m.

A powerful storm that has flooded roads across much of Oklahoma also has caused major damage at a gas station in the state capital of Oklahoma City.

KOCO-TV reports heavy winds peeled the roof off a Shell station and caused other damage. Motorists were stranded on a nearby road due to flooding.

The station reports city fire officials received 80 high-water calls over a two-hour period. Flood water got inside one mall in the city and nearly covered cars in the parking lot of another.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says at least 15 highways have been closed across the state.

Evacuation orders have been issued in Elk City, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas, amid warnings from the National Weather Service about potentially historic flooding.

9:05 p.m.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says at least 15 highways have been closed across the state due to high water from the recent flooding.

Heavy rainfall also made roads impassable Saturday night across much of the Oklahoma City metro area. The southbound ramp of Interstate 44 leading to I-40 was among the closures.

KOCO-TV reports Oklahoma City fire officials received 80 high-water calls over a two-hour period. The heavy water flooded one mall in the city and nearly covered cars in the parking lot of another.

Evacuation orders have been issued in Elk City, Oklahoma, and Wichita Falls, Texas, amid warnings from the National Weather Service about potentially historic flooding.

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