Midwest, Plains awash in damage from relentless thunderstorms

first_imgGAYS MILLS, Wis. – Relentless thunderstorms pounded parts of the Midwest and the Plains on Monday, causing mudslides, washing out bridges and flooding towns. At least 12 people have died since the weekend. Remnants of Tropical Storm Erin dumped heavy rain Monday in southwest Missouri, leaving one town temporarily cut off. Over the weekend in Oklahoma, the same system swamped buildings, led to dozens of water rescues and left six dead. Storms brought wind gusts up to 82 mph and hail the size of golf balls to Lincoln, Neb., on Monday evening. In southwestern Wisconsin on Monday, emergency workers braced for more rain and flooding. A storm system over the weekend left six dead in southeastern Minnesota; one man was still missing Monday. Heavy rains also caused flooding, road closures and sewage treatment systems to overflow in Iowa, authorities said. As the light rain continued to fall Monday morning in southwestern Wisconsin, there were stark reminders of the flooding. Two days of thunderstorms turned the countryside into swamps, drowned crops, eroded bluffs and strained dams. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Touring the devastation, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle’s entourage made its way into Gays Mills, a burg of about 640 people on the Kickapoo River. The river crested at 17 feet, 5 feet above flood stage, and left the downtown in waist-deep, peanut butter-colored water. In Missouri, some of the worst damage was in Pleasant Hope, a town of 700 residents near Springfield. Dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed, the emergency management director, Rick Davis, said. Some parts of the town got 15 inches of rain in a four-hour period. For a time, all roads into the town were cut off. “We’ve never had this kind of water,” Davis said. “It’s just a mess.”last_img

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