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Heavy Rains in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois

May 17, 1995

Heavy rain fell today from the southern Plains up the Mississippi and Ohio valleys, causing flooding that forced evacuations in Kansas and Illinois and a mudslide that blocked an interstate in Colorado.

Intense thunderstorms swept through parts of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky overnight.

Six to 7 inches of rain fell overnight in northeastern Kansas, where some residents were evacuated this morning in Wakarusa, a low-lying town of about 100 people on the Wakarusa River, said Shawnee County official Ann Sherman.

Late Tuesday, parts of Kansas also had reports of tornadoes and hail as big as softballs. At least three people were injured and two schools were closed today because of hail damage.

Small streams also were flooding today in southwestern Illinois. More than 100 people were evacuated from a nursing home at Caseyville because of a broken levee, said St. Clair County official Norm Acker. Several people also were evacuated in Madison County, said Chief Deputy Ray Galloway.

``We just need Mother Nature to shut off the spigot,″ Acker said.

Evansville, Ind., got more than 3.25 inches of rain from midnight to late morning.

A flash flood watch was in effect through tonight for most of Missouri after more than 4 inches of rain fell overnight in St. Louis and more than 3 inches in Kansas City.

At Jefferson City, Mo., the Missouri River was rising and owners of planes at the city’s low-lying airport were being told to consider moving their aircraft, Cole County officials said. At St. Peters, Mo., near St. Louis, Interstate 70 was closed briefly early today by high water, the State Highway Patrol said.

Showers and thunderstorms also were possible today across the upper Ohio Valley, the eastern Great Lakes, the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic states.

A low-pressure system in the Southwest spread scattered showers and thunderstorms across the central and southern Rockies and onto the western Plains.

Flooding in parts of Colorado closed a highway between Boulder and Golden, local officials said. Falling rocks and mudslides briefly blocked some Colorado highways, including a section of Interstate 70.

At higher elevations of Colorado, more than a foot of snow was reported near Black Hawk this morning.

Elsewhere, a few showers were possible over the Pacific Northwest and northern Great Basin.

The nation’s hot spot Tuesday was Laredo, Texas, at 102. The highest heat index was 114 at Bartow, Fla. Today’s lowest temperature in the Lower 48 states was 25 at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.

Temperatures were forecast today in the 50s and 60s in New England, 50s, 60s, and 70s in the Midwest, 60s in the upper Midwest, 60s, 70s, and 80s in the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest, 60s and 70s in the Northwest, 70s, 80s, and 90s in the South and 90s in the Southeast.

Other reports at 5 a.m. EDT (atmospheric conditions not available for many cities):

_East: Albany, N.Y., 52 partly cloudy; Atlanta 73 partly cloudy; Boston 49 showers; Buffalo 60 cloudy; Charleston, S.C., 74 partly cloudy; Chattanooga 68 cloudy; Cincinnati 66 rain; Cleveland 64 cloudy; Detroit 65 cloudy; Jacksonville 67 fair; Key West 75; Knoxville 62 cloudy; Macon 69 foggy; Miami 81 partly cloudy; New York 59 partly cloudy; Philadelphia 62 cloudy; Pittsburgh 59 cloudy; Portland, Maine, 43 rain; Richmond 68 cloudy; Tampa 75; Washington, D.C., 63 cloudy.

_Central: Bismarck 35; Chicago 64 cloudy; Denver 47 cloudy; Des Moines 52 cloudy; Fort Worth 75 windy; Indianapolis 64 cloudy; Kansas City 66 foggy; Little Rock 77 cloudy; Louisville 66 thunderstorm; Memphis 77 cloudy; Nashville 75 cloudy; New Orleans 77 partly cloudy; North Platte 46 cloudy; Oklahoma City 70 partly cloudy; Omaha 50 cloudy; Rapid City 44 cloudy; St. Louis 64 thunderstorm; Minneapolis-St. Paul 45 fair; Sault Ste. Marie 41 windy; San Antonio 77 partly cloudy.

_West: Albuquerque 49 showers; Anchorage 45 cloudy; Boise 47 fair; Casper 44 partly cloudy; Fairbanks 39 partly cloudy; Great Falls 50 cloudy; Honolulu 75 partly cloudy; Las Vegas 62; Los Angeles 57 partly cloudy; Medford 53 cloudy; Pendleton 54 fair; Phoenix 65 fair; Portland, Ore., 53 partly cloudy; Reno 53 partly cloudy; Salt Lake City 48 partly cloudy; San Diego 59 partly cloudy; San Francisco 51 fair; Seattle 52 cloudy; Spokane 52 partly cloudy.

_International: Calgary 41 fair; Montreal 50 partly cloudy; Ottawa 50 cloudy; Regina 37; Toronto 54 cloudy; Winnipeg 28; San Juan 75 partly cloudy.

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