By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The central and southern United States have been experiencing heavy rains and widespread flooding for the past week. More flooding is possible during the next several days, CNN reported.
At least three people have died in Michigan and Kentucky. One of the victims was a one-year-old girl who was found in standing water in Sheridan, Michigan, on February 21.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued flash flood warnings for Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas through Thursday. Also, the governors of Indiana, Missouri and Ohio declared states of emergency due to the possibility of further flooding.
The NWS expects one-half to three-quarters of an inch of rain will fall across southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. South-central Kentucky could see one to one and a half inches of rain in the coming days.
Kentucky Rainfall for February Breaks 134-Year Record
In Kentucky, February's total rainfall of 10.47 inches as of Monday topped a record that stood for 134 years. A total of 9.84 inches of rain fell on Louisville in February 1884. The Ohio River is at its highest level in 20 years.
Officials estimate that about 40 billion gallons of rain fell over Louisville alone during a five-day stretch, the Louisville Journal-Courier said.
Louisville Sewer District Manager Wes Sydnor told a news conference that 21 billion gallons of water have been pumped out of the Louisville sewer system.
Michigan Rescuers Search for Missing Kayaker
In Lansing, Michigan, rescuers continue to search for a kayaker who has been missing on the swollen Grand River since Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters responded with three boats, a truck company and three engine companies. The Lansing and Ingham County dive teams were also called in to assist in the rescue effort.
They were joined by dive teams from the Michigan State Police and Eaton County Sheriff's Office, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
Grand River at Its Highest Level in 43 Years
Last week, heavy rains and snowmelt water pushed the Grand River to its highest level since 1975. The river was at 9.06 feet on Wednesday, down from its crest of 14.6 feet last Friday.
This latest bout of heavy rains and flooding comes less than three months after swollen rivers in the Midwest and other regions affected more than 12 million people. Scores of buildings were submerged after days of intense rain in which 24 people died, the British news agency Reuters reported.
Two rivers west of St. Louis crested at historic levels. flooding local towns, disabling sewer plants and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents.