Scatter severe thunderstorms stretching from Texas to Ohio Valley brought tornadoes and flooding across several states. The storms overturned trucks, damaged homes and forced many to seek high ground. At least seven people are dead as a result of storms and flooding since Monday. The Mississippi River ticked above levels reached in 1993 in Davenport, Iowa, the highest level there in 157 years. The city’s downtown area remained under water Friday, days after a temporary levee gave way. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Thursday for Wayne County. At least 3,000 homes have been damaged in Wayne County from flooding.
Deadly flooding from heavy rains and snow melt plagued areas from Michigan to the South, damaging homes and sending the Mississippi River in one spot to levels not reached in 157 years.
The Mississippi River ticked above levels reached in the historic 1993 flood in Davenport, Iowa, making it the highest level there in 157 years. The city’s downtown remained under water Friday, days after a temporary levee gave way and flooded the city that does not have a permanent levee or floodwall, the Associated Press reports.
[1/4] This is the current view from our home office in Rock Island, Illinois. Davenport (Iowa), a hop across Mississippi River from us, has been flooded for over a month. Yesterday, the Mississippi River flood levels hit an all-time record in the Quad Cities, at 22.7 feet. pic.twitter.com/dGWqrYSXLv— Modern Woodmen (@ModernWoodmen) May 3, 2019
Jon Erdman, weather.com senior meteorologist, noted that the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois, across the river from Davenport, first rose above flood stage on March 15 as water from melting snow in upstream tributaries flowed into the Mississippi River.
“Rounds of additional rain in Iowa and Illinois and a melt of snow cover from some April storms pushed the river higher since late April,” Erdman added.
On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard closed a five-mile stretch of the Mississippi River near St. Louis to boat and barge traffic, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“The Mississippi is closed to all vessel traffic due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents,” U.S. Coast Guard public affairs officer Brandon Giles told the newspaper.
EXTREME WEATHER: Drone footage shows the scene in Davenport, Iowa, after a levee breached, causing the Mississippi River to flood the streets, as severe weather threatens more possible twisters to the south. Complete weather coverage tonight. https://t.co/HPSTbqgyLg pic.twitter.com/jZx1REHrEE— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 1, 2019
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency Thursday for Wayne County after this week’s heavy rains left widespread flooding, the AP reports.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said an estimated 3,000 homes in the county, including homes in Detroit, have been damaged by the flooding that also forced authorities to close a stretch of the Southfield Freeway in both directions.
In other areas throughout the Midwest and the South, flooding has made roads impassable and forced the closure of two Mississippi River bridges in Quincy, Illinois, and Louisiana, Missouri.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW: An incredible look at the flooding in downtown Davenport. pic.twitter.com/KLO0fov89W— KWQC TV6 News (@kwqcnews) May 2, 2019
All along the Mississippi River, communities continue to sandbag in an attempt to stave off floodwaters.
Grafton Mayor Rick Eberlin told reporters roads were closing around the town that is 40 miles north of St. Louis and has no flood walls or levees. He noted that waters were beginning to encroach the town hall, the AP reported.
“We are at our wits end,” Eberlin said. “We are totally unprotected.“
About 40 miles northwest of St. Louis, the towns of Winfield and Foley saw flash floodingafter a levee overtopped, according to emergency personnel.
In Hannibal, Missouri, the Mississippi is expected to crest Friday afternoon at the third-highest level on records, the Hannibal Courier-Post reports. The city, which issued a state of emergency declaration Wednesday morning, plans to raise the height of flood gates and the levee will be raised as a precaution.
The town of West Alton, Missouri, home to about 500 residents, is under a voluntary evacuation order.
“We’ve been through this before,” West Alton Emergency Management Director Gary Machens told the Associated Press. “It’s part of living in a floodplain.“
At least seven deaths are attributed to this week’s flooding and severe weather.
The body of Martha Patricia Torres-Regalado, 44, was found in a drainage ditch Friday after her car became stranded in high water. A second woman traveling with Torres-Regalado left the vehicle to seek help but returned to find Torres-Regalado gone from the vehicle. Her body was found several blocks away in the drainage ditch, the AP reports.
Police recovered the body of 23-year-old kayak paddler Alex Ekern from a flooded Missouri creek Thursday after he and another paddler went missing.
The victim was one of three paddlers who ran into trouble on Wednesday when their kayaks went over a low-water bridge and became caught in a hydraulic, which churns up the water like a washing-machine and is difficult to escape. Authorities continue to search for the second victim, while a third paddler managed to escape the hydraulic, the AP reports.
A 2-year-old boy was killed Thursday when his mother drove past a “high water” sign in Wabash County, Indiana, and into a flooded road.
Earlier in the week, a man was killed in Missouri he was swept away by flash flooding and three others died in Oklahoma.
A multi-day rash of storms hitting parts of Texas through the Ohio Valley continued on Friday.
Damage was reported to several industrial buildings by a possible tornado early Friday in Fayette County, Texas.
The storms spawned numerous tornadoes, and dumped heavy rain this week, overturning trucks, damaging homes and forcing many to seek higher ground. Four tornadoes that touched down in central Arkansas Thursday were confirmed Friday by the National Weather Service, including an EF1 twister.
Scattered severe thunderstorms will continue to flare up from Texas into parts of the mid-Atlantic through Friday, producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and potentially a few tornadoes. Heavy rainfall from these storms could also trigger flash flooding.
Follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Share your thoughts in our DISCUSSION FORUMS. Donate through Paypal. Please and thank you