Saturday, August 25, 2007

U.S. Midwest -- storms, floods, heat

Ah, summer in the Midwest. Brings back memories… from Environmental News Network, via Reuters: Heavy thunderstorms flooded portions of the central United States again on Friday, knocking out the water supply in one Iowa city and disrupting a major transcontinental highway. As much as a foot of rain fell in central Iowa during the night and flood warnings were posted for areas from northeast Kansas to northern Illinois.

Thunderstorms have raked the same sections of the Midwest for nearly a week, repeatedly dousing some areas and saturating the ground. At least 13 deaths have been blamed on the storms…

In the Chicago area, where a storm on Thursday hit with wind gusts as high as 80 miles per hour, more than a quarter million homes and businesses were still without electricity on Friday morning, according to Exelon Corp's Commonwealth Edison.

High water forced Indiana officials to close the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80, a major east-west transcontinental highway. Many rural and secondary roads were under water across the region, though the situation in Ohio was improving.

Floodwaters had begun to recede in the worst-hit towns and communities but rivers remained above flood levels and 17 highways were still under water, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency said.

…Public schools in Cincinnati were closed for the second straight day due to the heat, expected to hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Indianapolis schools cut classes to a half day for the second day because of the heat.

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