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Plains Flooding; Coastal Storm
(State College, PA) - Several days of severe storms on the Plains has resulted in flooding that rivals the historical floods of 1993. Meanwhile, a storm off the Carolina coast continues to pound the shoreline with gusty winds, heavy surf, beach erosion and rip currents.

Thunderstorms Monday were not as vicious as the deadly storms that raked across the southern Plains over the past weekend. There were several reports of damaging winds and hail on Monday and there will be a continued risk for strong storms today.

A devastating tornado ripped through Greensburg, Kansas, on Friday night, killing 10 people and destroying 95 percent of the town's structures. The storm, rated as an EF-5 with winds topping 200 mph, was the most powerful tornado ever to strike Kansas.
Greg Bragg walks his two dogs with the flooded Chautaqua Park behind him, in Beatrice, Neb., Monday, May 7, 2007. Rising waters in southeast Nebraska prompted road closures and sandbagging efforts Monday following days of heavy rain in the region. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)


As reported in the Weather Summaries page, severe storms continued through the weekend, spreading heavy rain across the Plains states. The rain has led to severe flooding across the Plains, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and closing streets and highways in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri.

Some streams and rivers are approaching record levels reached during the massive flooding of 1993. Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt declared a state of emergency and mobilized units of the Missouri National Guard. According to the Midwest Regional News report, the flood threat will continue for several days. The Missouri River at Kansas City, Mo., is expected to reach flood stage on Wednesday morning.

In Kansas, more than 500 people around Topeka had to be rescued as several creeks continued to rise on Monday. Schools in Topeka were closed and evacuation centers were opened at Washburn University and the Kansas Expo Center.

The Severe Weather Center reports storms today will deposit additional heavy rain West Texas to northern Missouri. There are numerous Flood Watches and Warnings in effect through Wednesday.

Meanwhile, strong surf from the storm that developed Sunday off the Carolina coast continues to pound the shoreline. On Monday, sections of Route 12, which connects the Outer Banks of North Carolina, were closed for a time as water as deep as three feet poured over the highway. With a persistent Northeast wind, further coastal flooding is possible over the next two days.

The Severe Weather Center will an up-to-date list of all Watches and Warnings related to the coastal storm.

As reported in the South Regional News story, the storm will bring gusty winds and minor coastal flooding to the east coast of Florida. Conditions will be ideal for surfing; however, there is an increased threat of dangerous rip currents.

The presence of the offshore storm will do little to ease the fire danger in the Southeast. Strong winds wrapping around the storm will gust from 30 to 40 mph. The combination of the strong winds, low humidity and dry vegetation will increase the wildfire danger.

The Severe Weather Center lists the Red Flag Warnings and Wind Advisories in effect in Georgia and Florida.

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