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Streams Rise In Midwest Following Stormy Weather


Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO (AP) – Midwesterners got ready for the possibility of flooding Sunday as runoff from heavy rain and melting snowbanks bloated streams, and some were cleaning up damage from summerlike storms that even included funnel clouds.

Flood warnings were posted Sunday over sections of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and northwest Ohio, the National Weather Service said.

Following a week of heavy snow, ice and subzero temperatures, meteorologists said temperatures would rise into the 30s Sunday in the Chicago area, following Saturday’s high of 61.

Farther east, New York City residents relaxed as temperatures headed for the mid 60s Sunday.

In the Chicago suburb of Riverside, authorities encouraged residents along the Des Plaines River to evacuate Saturday night as water rose.

The Des Plaines River crested Sunday morning at the city of Des Plaines at nearly 7 feet, the weather service said. Flood stage there is 5 feet.

Des Plaines authorities closed a main road for about 10 hours during the night because of water from an overflowing retention pond, said Don Meseth, director of emergency management for the city of Des Plaines.

“There were a few reports of water in basements,” Meseth said.

In Illinois’ Kane County, several dozen Boy Scouts spent Saturday morning filling 2,400 sandbags for residents to pick up.

“They’re just concerned with the way we’re going to get this quick melt that all the tributaries are going to fill up,” said troop leader Jeff Koehl.

Some low-lying roads were flooded early Sunday in southwest and central Missouri, the weather service said.

On Saturday, a line of powerful thunderstorms swept across a wide swath of the Midwest, packing wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph in Illinois, said weather service meteorologist Patrick Bak.

The storms also produced hail and funnel clouds were reported in Missouri.

The wind knocked down tree limbs and power lines in Michigan, and Detroit-based DTE Energy Co. said about 180,000 customers how no electricity Sunday morning.

CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary Consumers Energy said about 96,000 of its customers were blacked out.

Both DTE and Consumers say they couldn’t immediately predict when power might be restored because wind continued Sunday with gusts to about 50 mph reported.

High wind also blew away a large section of the roof of a school district administrative building in Springfield, Ill.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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