A band of thunderstorms reaching across the lower Mississippi Valley into Ohio on Saturday killed two people and threatened more flooding in an area that has seen evacuations because of high water.
The storm system packing hail, high winds and possible tornados was forecast to drop from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) of rain by early Sunday from Arkansas into the Ohio Valley.
Much of the area was under flash flood warnings or watches after being saturated by rain in the past week or so, the National Weather Service said.
“It’s a pretty high-impact event over a very large area,” Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the agency’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said by telephone.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a disaster emergency for 11 counties because of damage from widespread flooding, especially from the Kankakee River in northern Indiana.
In Ohio, Governor John Kasich declared an emergency in 17 counties along the Ohio River and in the southern part of the state because of high water and storm damage.
A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south-central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included heavy winds, rain and hail muscled its way through the area.
In northeast Arkansas, an 83-year-old man was killed after high winds toppled a trailer home. Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller told KAIT-TV that Albert Foster died Saturday night after the home was blown into a pond.
In rural, south-central Kentucky, 79-year-old Dallas Jane Combs died after a suspected tornado hit her Adairville home Saturday evening, Logan County Sheriff's Department told television station WKRN.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin asked that all citizens to take weather warnings seriously.
Three dead in flooding
Flooding has claimed at least three lives this week, including a 1-year-old girl in Michigan, according to media.
A 52-year-old woman was found dead in her car that was submerged in a ditch in Illinois and a 53-year-old man was killed in Oklahoma when his car was swept away by flood waters, media reported.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated over the last several days as rising waters reached their homes and nearby roads. Communities provided sandbags to home and business owners and set up dozens of shelters to house displaced residents.