Strong storms and heavy rains have hit many central US states. The rains have caused the worst floods the area has had in over 20 years.
The problems began over the weekend when thunderstorms, very strong winds, and some tornadoes hit states in southern and central US. At least five people died as a result of the storms. Tornadoes hit Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. Winds in Tennessee were blowing as fast as 125 mph (miles per hour).
Many states were affected. Missouri, Indiana and Illinois have declared disaster emergencies. This means they need extra help. Other states may soon say they have emergencies, too. Thousands of people lost power from Arkansas to Michigan. Flood waters have caused problems in many states, including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
The floods were caused by heavy rains. In Louisville, Kentucky, for example, this was the rainiest February ever recorded. They got over 10 inches of rain in February this year. Now over 70 rivers are past their flood stage. This means the water overflows the river’s banks and floods the area around the river.
The Ohio River is at its highest level in 20 years. On Sunday the river was eight feet over its flood stage. Many cities are built beside the Ohio River, including Louisville and Cincinnati, Ohio. The overflowing waters have flooded buildings, and closed streets and highways in these cities.
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