- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) | Wicked weekend storms pounded the country from the Midwest to the East Coast, forcing hundreds of people to flee flooded communities, spawning tornadoes that tore up houses and killing at least five people.

Rescuers in boats continued to pluck people from rising waters in Indiana on Sunday, a day after more than 10 inches of rain deluged much of the state.

In Iowa, pumps and thousands of sandbags were sent to the Iowa City area, where officials fear a reservoir could top a spillway and flood the city of about 63,000 by Tuesday.

The Indiana flooding killed at least one person, a man who drowned in his vehicle about 50 miles south of Indianapolis, said John Erickson, a spokesman for the state Department of Homeland Security. Another person was reported missing after falling off a boat about 30 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

In Michigan, two delivery workers for the Grand Rapids Press drowned early Sunday when their car became submerged in a creek that washed out a road near Lake Michigan in Saugatuck Township, the newspaper said.

A woman was killed when a small trailer blew onto her late Sunday afternoon west of Lansing, Sheriff Mike Raines told the Lansing State Journal.

And lightning struck a pavilion at a state park in Connecticut, killing one person and injuring four, state environmental spokesman Dennis Schain said.

At least one tornado hit the Omaha, Neb., area as people slept Sunday morning, damaging several dozen homes and businesses. No major injuries were reported.

Iowa saw some of its worst flooding in more than a decade, Gov. Chet Culver said as he declared an emergency in nearly a third of the state’s 99 counties, freeing up state resources.

A levee broke along the Winnebago River in Mason City, and its water-treatment plant was shut down.

Officials said water levels on the Iowa River at Iowa City could be like those during the historic floods of 1993, which put much of the state underwater.

In areas of Minnesota near the Iowa border, officials asked residents in the Winnebago Valley to evacuate.

In Morgan County, southwest of Indianapolis, about 150 residents were taken out of a flooded nursing home.

Floodwaters that were moving south to eventually drain into the Ohio River led officials to move more than 250 patients and employees from Columbus Regional Hospital in southern Indiana.

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