Spring storm brings floods to Midwest

April 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM
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CHICAGO, April 19 (UPI) -- A spring storm that brought flooding in the Midwest and snow in the Rockies threatens further disruption in the mid-Atlantic and New England, forecasters said.

With parts of Illinois and Indiana under flood waters, the storm threatens travel delays from Atlanta northward to New York during the day Friday, and into Massachusetts and New Hampshire Friday night, Accuweather.com said.

Much of central Indiana was flooded Friday, and four school districts -- Elwood, Lebanon, Western Boone and Zionsville -- were closed for the day, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Boone County commissioners declared a state of emergency. Most non-essential government departments were closed and authorities advised people to stay off the roads, the newspaper said.

London Mills, a small town in central Illinois, was evacuated late Thursday after the Spoon River rose all day and breached a levee in the evening, the Peoria Journal Star reported. The town of fewer than 500 people is in a rural area 30 miles west of Peoria.

"It's starting to come over the levee," Mayor Russel Craver said. "A lot of houses are flooding. We tried sandbagging, but we can't stop it. It's rising too fast."

The storm dumped heavy rain and caused rivers to flood in the Chicago area. While there were only a few evacuations, many roads were closed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

City schools were closed for the day.

"I urge everyone to stay alert and avoid flooded areas," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement. "Residents should tune in to local TV and radio stations for updated information about any closed routes or evacuations."

In Lake County, north of Chicago, Kent McKenzie, the emergency manager coordinator, said almost 200,000 sandbags had been distributed and the county was trying to get more. More than 100 roads were closed by high water.

The storm dumped snow on the Denver area Wednesday as it headed east.

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