Floods Spawned by Storms Hit Southeastern Missouri

From Times Wire Services

Floodwaters surged through southeast Missouri on Friday after a barrage of tornadoes and thunderstorms that killed four people and left hundreds of homes and businesses shattered.

Severe thunderstorms Thursday night churned up tornadoes in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, hitting the southeastern corner of Missouri the hardest.

The deluge in Missouri did not let up in many areas until Friday. Some areas had received more than 10 inches of rain since the storms began, and more was expected to fall through today, the National Weather Service said.

The tornadoes killed a 76-year-old man in Vanduser, Mo., and damaged virtually every building in the town of 350. Two persons drowned in flash-flooding that turned the streets of Cape Girardeau into a torrent, and a fourth man drowned in rural Fredericktown.

(Residents of Orange County, Calif., calling the Red Cross for information about relatives in areas of southeastern Missouri hit by tornadoes have been unsuccessful, according to a spokesman, because of a damaged regional switchboard in Missouri.

(The spokesman, Harry Huggins, said the Red Cross's Disaster Welfare Inquiry System has been hampered by a switchboard failure in the area. "We'll be up and operational as soon as possible," Huggins said. Orange County Red Cross officials received half a dozen calls Friday inquiring about relatives and friends living in Missouri.)

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