- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

3:05 p.m. CDT

Emergency officials say Arkansas largely avoided major problems when the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill passed through the state.

The storm bogged down a bit over Oklahoma on Thursday, but Thursday night and Friday morning moved relatively quickly across the state’s northern tier, said Rick Fahr, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. He says it could have been worse.

Rainfall totals in Arkansas from Bill were generally less than 3 inches. Parts of Oklahoma and Texas saw up to a foot of rain.

Rain west of the state will flow westward, through Arkansas, triggering rises along major rivers.

“There was a lot of water falling in Texas and Oklahoma and it’s going to be heading in this direction,” Fahr said.

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8:10 a.m. CDT

Roads are flooded across southern Missouri following heavy rains overnight and authorities are urging motorists to drive with caution.

Meteorologist Drew Albert in Springfield says the rains are adding to high water levels in the James and Gasconade rivers in southwest Missouri, and many streams and smaller rivers are full.

Albert says this round of flooding is worse than the region is used to and is expected to continue through Friday. Most flood-related fatalities occur when people drive through flooded roads and Albert warns that the waters from these storms are unusually swift and high.

No evacuations have been reported in southwest Missouri. But in eastern Missouri, about a dozen families were evacuated from their homes in Steelville Friday morning because of flooding along Yadkin Creek.

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6:55 a.m. CDT

A section of a major highway that connects Oklahoma City and Dallas remains closed as transportation officials assess how to prevent further rockslides following heavy rainfall.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is urging motorists to avoid Interstate 35 in southern Oklahoma. Drivers traveling northbound through the Arbuckle Mountains must make a 4 mile detour while crews repair the road following an earlier rockslide that blocked the highway.

Engineers are evaluating ways to reopen the highway, including one lane of traffic in each direction. But closure of the highway’s northbound lanes is expected to continue for many days due to unsafe conditions.

Officials say drivers and truck traffic traveling through Oklahoma should use US-81 or US-69 as alternate routes. Numerous other highways are closed due to high water.

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12:45 a.m. CDT

Residents across the Ozarks and mid-Mississippi Valley are being warned of possible flooding from the weakened remains of former Tropical Storm Bill.

Flood warnings were issued across the region for Friday, even before the rain began to fall there in earnest.

Forecasters said the worst weather overnight would be in the heart of the Ozark Mountains along the Arkansas-Missouri border, with 3 to 5 inches of rain expected to fall.

Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were bracing for high water through the weekend.

Since coming ashore Tuesday along the Texas Gulf Coast, the tropical system has claimed at least one life. The body 2-year-old boy swept from his father’s arms as they tried to escape a raging Hickory Creek in Ardmore, Oklahoma, was found Thursday.

Authorities in Oklahoma also recovered the body of an 80-year-old woman from a vehicle partially submerged in water Thursday, though her cause of death was not immediately released.

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