Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hevige stormen blijven VS teisteren ( reeds 9 doden)

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) -- More stormy weather was forecast Sunday after two days of high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes that were blamed for at least nine deaths in the Midwest and the South.
Flood warnings were in effect for parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, and severe weather was possible along the Eastern Seaboard, forecasters said.
Storms on Friday and Saturday stranded people in cars, forced others from their homes and left thousands without power. (Watch how powerful floodwaters claimed two lives -- 1:29)
The death toll in Kentucky reached eight, including a father and his 1-year-old daughter killed in a truck that skidded in floodwaters. In Arkansas, a woman whose boat was struck by lightning died and authorities were searching for two missing people.
Authorities urged people to stay off the roads. "We have a lot of people driving past the high water signs and they are getting stuck," said Kentucky State Police dispatcher John Reynolds.
The National Weather Service reported that areas of Kentucky received at least 5 inches of rain, with isolated regions getting close to 10 inches. Over 24 hours, parts of northeast Arkansas and southeast Missouri received more than 10 inches of rain, the weather service reported.
Flooding forced more than 100 people to flee an apartment complex for shelter at a nearby high school, officials said. Portions of Interstate 64 just east of Louisville were closed in both directions due to standing water. Meanwhile, the storms left thousands of Kentuckians without power. (Watch people cope with waist-deep water -- :40)
The rain dampened a music and arts festival in central Kentucky as waters rose to at least 6 feet in some areas, forcing the evacuation of about 200 people at the farmstead just north of Harrodsburg in Mercer County.
The American Red Cross and six county emergency agencies used boats and school buses to transport attendees at the Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival to a shelter at Lion's Park in Harrodsburg, said Ruthann Phillips of the Red Cross.
"It was almost Katrina-like pretty much," said Chester Craig, a lieutenant with the Mercer Central Volunteer Fire Department. "There were vehicles underwater and people were walking around in a daze." (Watch rescuers float victims through flooded streets -- 1:13)
Elsewhere, a tornado touched down Saturday night in Kent County in western Michigan, peeling off the roof of a barn, overturning vehicles and damaging businesses, according to the weather service. No injuries were reported.
In central and eastern Missouri, hundreds were without homes or power a day after a storm churned up about 10 tornadoes and drenched some parts of the state with as much as a foot of rain. Nearly 400 structures were damaged or destroyed and at least 10 people were injured, said Susie Stonner, a state emergency management spokeswoman.
In Arkansas, four northern counties declared emergencies Saturday after severe flooding. Emily Taylor, a state emergency management spokeswoman, said a tornado touched down five miles outside Ash Flat, damaging 12 homes and destroying two others. Two people were taken to a hospital for minor injuries.
In northwest Tennessee, about 300 people returned home Saturday after they were evacuated Friday night from a trailer park in Obion County when water from a nearby creek began to overflow, said Jeremy Heidt, a spokesman for the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. No tornado touchdowns, major damage or injuries were reported, he said.
In Evansville, Indiana, Vanderburgh County emergency management director Sherman Greer said his agency had given away about 550 sandbags in 90 minutes Saturday, many of them to residents of Evansville's southeast side who were dealing with flooding for the second time in two weeks.
"These people are going through round two right now," Greer said. "Just about the time they got their carpet dried out ... they're going through it again."