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Record Rains Force Thousands to Flee

May 01, 1996| Reuters

CHICAGO — A deluge that broke records for rainfall swamped parts of three Midwestern states, forcing thousands to flee their homes and some to be rescued by boat, authorities said Tuesday.

Six deaths have been attributed to the flooding since the weekend. The flood waters filled suburbs and farmland with shallow lakes, closed roads and caused power outages from Missouri to Ohio.

Four people died over the weekend in Missouri: two women whose car slid off a flooded highway and two hunters who were swept away in a flash flood.

In Ohio, a 15-month-old boy was swept away in a creek Monday and a 6-year-old was electrocuted when he grabbed a power line in his flooded yard.

Cities in Missouri along the Mississippi River took precautions against rising waters, with Cape Girardeau, Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis raising their floodgates.

With skies clearing Tuesday, flood waters were gradually receding across the region, allowing some residents to return home. But more rain was expected to arrive Friday.

In the upper Midwest, a snowstorm that began Monday night promised to increase this year's record snowmelt in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Up to 16 inches of snow showers were recorded in the northern Great Lakes region, with Marquette, Mich., getting 6 more inches Tuesday to set a seasonal record of 245 inches.

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