USA – Deadly Storms and Floods in South and Midwest

Update 03 May 2017:

Two more flood related deaths have been reported in Missouri, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol. One man died after his vehicle was swept off the road near Poplar Bluff by flood water from the Black River. A woman died in after her vehicle was swept away by water from a flooding creek near Harviell.

A total of 5 flood related deaths have now been reported in Missouri.

Original Report, 02 May 2017:

Storms, tornadoes and floods have claimed at least 16 lives in Southern and Midwestern states of the USA Saturday, 29 April 2017.

Parts of Missouri received as much as 300 mm (12 inches) of rain between 28 and 30 April. Several rivers reached record levels and flooding has left at least 3 people dead and prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency.

In Arkansas, 216 mm (8.50 inches) of rain fell at Savoy, Washington County in 24 hours. As many as 6 storm and flood related deaths were reported in the state. Hundreds have been urged to evacuate the town of Pocahontas due to fears the Black River will burst its banks.

Several tornadoes were reported in Texas, where 4 people died. Weather related deaths were also reported in Mississippi (2) and Tennessee (1).

Missouri

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens declared a State of Emergency on 28 April in anticipation of severe, dangerous rainstorms and flash flooding throughout the state.

A statement said that “Professionals from the State Emergency Management Agency, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri National Guard, and Missouri’s Task Force 1 Rescue Unit, have deployed resources on land, on water, and in the sky throughout Missouri to save lives and to protect property.”

Some parts of the state saw a 300 mm (12 inches) of rain, causing flash floods and increasing river levels, in particular the Mississippi and Meramec.

The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency reported 143 water rescues. A total of 111 evacuations were reported across the state, including evacuations in areas near Cape Girardeau where the Mississippi River is expected to crest later this week close to record levels.

More than 350 roads were closed across the state because of flooding. Flood water closed a 50 mile stretch of Interstate 44.

At least 3 people have died in the floods. A woman was killed after floodwaters washed away her car on Saturday in Clever. A young man was killed on Sunday when his vehicle was caught in flash flooding as he attempted to drive across a low-water crossing in Pulaski County, near Crocker, about 150 miles southwest of St. Louis. Also on Sunday an elderly man died in Jefferson County, south of St. Louis, when he fell into flood water.

Rainfall

According to NWS Springfield, in 48 hours from 28 to 30 April, Houston in Texas County, Missouri, recorded 11.15 inches of rain, Yukon 11.05 inches and East Montauk 10.81 inches.

According to NWS St Louis, in 48 hours from 28 to 30 April, Bixby recorded 9.4 inches, Viburnum 8.06 and St Rose 7.9 inches.

Rivers

U.S. Geological Survey field crews USGS crews recorded more than 20 preliminary record-high flood measurements in the Arkansas and White River basins, as well as in some urban areas.

Additional historic peaks are expected throughout the lower part of the state over the next few days, as rainfall will likely continue in parts of the White River and Lower Mississippi River Basins.

The Mississippi River was well above flood stage at several points, including Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where it reached 40.6 feet on 02 May. It is expected to crest later this week at 48.5 feet, just under the record of 48.9 feet.

Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau. Image: NWS

Areas along the Meramec River, where record flooding hit in December 2015 to Janury 2016, were also threatened. The Meramec at Valley Park stood at 38.43 feet on Tuesday, 02 May, above the 25 feet major flood stage. It is expected to rise to 43.8 feet later this week, just under the record level of 44.1 feet.

Meramec river at Valley Park near St Louis. Image: NWS

Arkansas

At least 6 weather related deaths have been reported. Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson declared a state of emergency in response to flooding on 30 April.

“Our prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in the heavy rain and storms last night. I also thank our first responders who have worked tirelessly to provide assistance,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This afternoon I declared a State of Emergency for Arkansas to ensure that we have in place available resources to assist counties affected by last night’s storms. ADEM continues to coordinate with counties on damage assessments.”

Several people were killed or missing as flooding became extreme. One of the deceased is Cove Creek / Pearson Fire Chief who died 30 April while monitoring flooding.

According to NWS Arkansas, a young woman was inner tubing on Leatherwood Creek at Eureka Springs (Carroll County) and disappeared under a bridge. According to reports, her body was found a half mile downstream.

A small girl fell into a creek at Springdale (Washington County), and was swept downstream. Also in Washington County, the body an elderly man was found in a car that had been submerged in water in Fayetteville.

North west of Paron (Saline County), a group of people in kayaks were challenged by currents near a spillway. One man was killed.

On Saturday, a woman died when winds blew a large tree onto her mobile home in De Witt.

Near Hindsville (Madison County), a car carrying two small children was pushed off the road. The car was found later, but the children were not inside. Authorities were still searching for the missing.

Around 700 people have been urged to evacuate their homes in the town of Pocahontas due to fears that the rising Black River would overtop a levee and flood parts of the city.

Rivers

A record crest is expected by 05 May along the Black River at Pocahontas (Randolph County). By Sunday 30 May the river had reached 22.23 feet, above moderate flood stage. The river is expected record crest of 29.5 feet later this week. The record level is 28.5 feet set in 2011.

Black River at Pocahontas. Image: NWS

Rainfall

In a 24 hour period from 29 to 30 April, 8.50 inches of rain fell at Savoy (Washington County), 7.85 inches at Guy (Faulkner County), and 7.82 inches at Georgetown (White County).

At the North Little Rock Airport (Pulaski County) 1.55 inches of water fell 15 minutes, with 2.17 inches in 30 minutes.

Storms and Tornadoes in Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee

Four people died in tornadoes in Texas on Saturday. All four deaths were in an area east of Dallas, authorities said. At least 50 other people were injured.

Flooding was also reported and videos on Social Media showed a dramatic flood rescue in an area 50 miles from Dallas involving a father and two young children.

Two deaths were reported in Mississippi as a result of electrocution and wind damage. A young child was killed in Tennessee as a result of heavy winds on Sunday.

Photos of Flooding in Missouri

Social Media

Flood summary

Last updated: May 8, 2017
Event
South and Midwest USA, April to May 2017
Date
April 28, 2017
Type
Flash flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall

Locations

A - Clever
B - Cape Girardeau
C - Crocker
D - Valley Park
E - Eureka Springs
F - Springdale
G - Fayetteville
H - Hindsville
I - Pocahontas
J - Pacific

Magnitude

Rainfall level
215.9 mm in 24 hours
Savoy, Washington County, Arkansas - April 29 to April 30, 2017
Rainfall level
199.39 mm in 24 hours
Guy, Faulkner County, Arkansas - April 29 to April 30, 2017
Rainfall level
198.62 mm in 24 hours
Georgetown, White County, Arkansas - April 29 to April 30, 2017
River level
11.71 metres
Meramec River at Valley Park - May 2 to May 2, 2017
The Meramec at Valley Park stood at 38.43 feet on Tuesday, 02 May, above the 25 feet (7.62 metres) major flood stage.
River level
8.82 metres
Black River, Pocahontas, Arkansas - May 2 to May 2, 2017
A record level of 28.95 feet / 8.82 metres was reached along the Black River at Pocahontas (Randolph County) on 02 May, 2017, breaking the previous record of 28.5 feet / 8.69 metres set in late April, 2011. Major flood stage is 25 feet / 7.62 metres.

Damages

Fatalities
6 people
Missouri - April 29 to May 3, 2017
Evacuated
111 people
Missouri - April 29 to May 2, 2017
Evacuated
500 people
Arkansas - April 29 to May 2, 2017
Rescued
143 people
Missouri - April 29 to May 2, 2017
Fatalities
7 people
Arkansas - April 29 to May 2, 2017

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