- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - More than 5 inches of rain soaked eastern Nebraska and western Iowa Wednesday, causing street flooding during the morning commute and forcing some schools to close for the day.

The threat of flooding in the area will linger into Thursday because more storms are expected to follow Wednesday’s heavy rain.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the area around Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska, through Wednesday afternoon because between 5 inches and 8 inches of rain fell in the area.

By midday Wednesday, Eppley Airfield had already set a new record with 5.22 inches of rain. The previous mark for this date was 1.97 inches of rain in 1977.

Flooding left several streets in both cities impassable, including parts of downtown Council Bluffs. Several cars that drove into flooded streets became stranded after the floodwaters caused them to stall.

“Any additional rain they get is going to cause a problem,” National Weather Service forecaster Van DeWald said.

Commuters across the metro area struggled to find a path to work.

Gina Primmer told the Omaha World-Herald that her Volvo SUV stalled as she tried to cross floodwaters with her two children in the vehicle. Fortunately, her vehicle restarted after drying out for a while, but many other drivers fared worse.

“Cars were stalled everywhere,” Primmer told the newspaper about part of her commute. “There was water all the way up to the windows.”

The Council Bluffs and St. Albert Catholic school districts both canceled classed Wednesday because of concerns about road conditions.

During the storm, more than 5,000 people lost power, but utilities were able to restore service to most customers during the morning Wednesday.

The weather service predicts the area could receive 2 inches to 3 inches more rain Wednesday night before the storms diminish on Thursday. DeWald said that hopefully the areas that received the most rain Wednesday morning will be spared by some of the later storms.

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