With as much as six to 12 inches of rain falling in the space of hours, significant flooding is afflicting parts of the American heartland, from Texas to Western New York.
"Airlines faced passenger backlogs Wednesday from hundreds of flights grounded by storms that chased people from flooded homes and deluged roads in the nation's midsection, killing at least two people in Missouri and sweeping a teen down a drainage pipe in Texas," the Associated Press reported.
Flood warnings and watches remain in effect for a huge swath of the nation, from Texas into Massachusetts and Connecticut.
"More rain adding to the excessive rainfall totals from Tuesday will worsen the already serious flood situation across the nation's heartland," according to Accuweather.com. "Today, the rain will slowly come to an end from the Arklatex to the Ohio Valley. It will in the upper Ohio Valley persist until tonight.
"An extremely serious flooding danger will persist long after the rain ends today. Streams and rivers will take some time to recede and the largest waterways could remain out of their banks for several days.
"Motorists should not drive around barricades blocking flooded roadways. Despite the water appearing calm, the roadway underneath may be washed out. Parents are urged to keep children and pets away from any streams and rivers to avoid a potentially deadly situation.
"Flooding throughout Springfield, Mo., forced officials to close about 60 roads. As of 4 a.m. CDT this morning, Springfield had received over six inches of rain from the storm. The 3.93 inches that fell on Tuesday broke the daily rainfall record of 2.79 inches set in 1889.
"Cape Girardeau, Mo., has been swamped by nearly 12 inches of rain. The city on Tuesday shattered its all-time daily rainfall record of 6.73 inches established on March 27, 1977."
No weather event can be attributed to global warming or larger climactic trends; however, scientists have warned that a warmer atmosphere will produce more intense bursts of precipitation.
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