Flooding Hits Southeast Missouri in Wake of Storms

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.

Scott County Sheriff Bill Ferrell said homes damaged in Sikeston and Vanduser numbered "in the hundreds." He said several large businesses on the main highway into Sikeston were destroyed.

Authorities estimated that 100 or more businesses in Cape Girardeau were damaged by water and mud.

In southern Illinois, violent thunderstorms and tornadoes sent up to five feet of water surging over roads Friday after tornadoes swept across the state, destroying barns and damaging homes. No serious injuries were reported.

A tornado leveled at least five barns and two garages in north-central Ohio, but no one was injured, the weather service said.

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