ST. LOUIS — Torrential rains continued across the nation’s midsection on Thursday, causing flash flooding that killed a woman and a child, damaged homes and forced multiple water rescues.
Up to 10 inches of rain pounded southern Missouri overnight. A woman died near Jane, Mo., in the far southwestern corner of the state where creek water washed over a highway, sweeping away her car.
“Early this morning it just unleashed,” said Greg Sweeten, emergency management director in McDonald County, Mo.
Authorities in the south-central Missouri town of Waynesville continued to search for 23-year-old Jessica D. Lee, whose car was swept up in a flash flood early Tuesday. The body of her 4-year-old son, Elyjah, was found Tuesday, hours after his mother made a distress call from her cell phone.
Flash flood warnings were common in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. And things could get worse: Heavy rain is in the forecast into the weekend.
“We had significant flash flooding three mornings in a row in some part of southern Missouri,” said weather.com senior meteorologist Jon Erdman. “Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common in mid-late summer. Light winds aloft, deep moisture and stalled fronts spell flooding rainfall.”
Missouri has gotten the worst of it. Some gauges near Waynesville recorded 15 inches of rain in a two-day period. One-day totals of 6 inches or more were common across the width of the southern part of the Show-Me State.