ST. LOUIS (AP) — More torrential rain worsened flooding in the Midwest, spawning high water that swept away an Iowa teenager, caused a traffic nightmare near one of the nation’s busiest airports and threatened to swamp a Missouri town for the fifth time in less than a decade.
More than 3 inches of rain fell over much of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois Monday night and yesterday morning, and some areas got up to 5 inches of rain, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fuchs said, capping a week of downpours in the region.
Six Midwest states — North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri — were dealing with significant flooding and there were pockets in some other states. By the weekend, the Mississippi River will be at major flood stage along many Iowa, Illinois and Missouri communities, forecasters said. River flooding could close highways, potentially top levees and threaten some homes and businesses.
The Mississippi River rise came suddenly after a spate of thunderstorms in the last month, Fuchs said.
“The spring wasn’t that terribly bad. It was minor flooding, kind of ho hum,” he said. “We had a very wet June, and it looks like, initially at least, July will follow suit.”
In Iowa, rescue crews yesterday afternoon recovered the body of 17-year-old Logan Blake, who was swept away in a Cedar Rapids storm drain Monday night. Authorities say his body was found in three feet of water in a lake one mile away. Blake was with friends on the grounds of an elementary school when he was pulled into the drain by fast-moving water.
The storms were blamed for two deaths in Indiana, where trees fell on homes early yesterday, killing 14-year-old Daniel Holbrook in Winona Lake and 64-year-old Larry Davisson at Big Long Lake; and in Iowa, where a man died when a building collapsed in high winds.