INDEPENDENCE, Iowa – With so much of her family's belongings covered in dark, greasy mud, it's hard for Amy Hare to know what is lost and what can be salvaged.
The three-bedroom ranch home Hare rents is one of scores ravaged by storms in Iowa, which was lashed by a string of 19 tornadoes (search), hail, high wind and heavy rain during the weekend.
"I know we lost some photographs, Polaroids, of my youngest daughter taken just after she was born," Hare said Monday as she swept water and mud.
On Monday night, Iowa was drenched by yet another wave of powerful thunderstorms, even as residents of this eastern town of 6,000 people waited for Malone Creek to recede.
As that wave of storms swept eastward early Tuesday, one person was killed when a mobile home was destroyed at Winchester, Ill., authorities said. Few details were available because the Scott County coroner lost power in the storm, dispatcher Eric Tuey said.
Illinois also had high wind that damaged several homes and businesses near Jacksonville, and State Police said a twister damaged a home south of Springfield.
Tuesday's storms followed more severe weather on Monday, when tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.
Hare said water poured into the basement, coating dolls, clothes, appliances and photographs with a thick film of pungent, sludge-like mud.
"It's just going to be a matter of going through things to know what's gone for good and what we can save," said Hare.
The storms that moved across Iowa on Friday, Saturday and Sunday dumped as much as 9 inches near Ames. Monday night's downpours brought more than 3 inches to some areas.
No more rain is forecast in Iowa until Friday evening and possibly the weekend, said Brad Fillbach, a National Weather Service (search) technician. "At least we'll have a few good days of drying and give the rivers a chance to start dropping," he said.
Gov. Tom Vilsack (search) asked for a federal disaster declaration covering 24 counties, including Humboldt County, where nearly every building in the small town of Bradgate was damaged by a tornado Friday.
Elsewhere, four tornadoes were reported Monday evening in or near Chillicothe, Mo. Two girls were injured in a mobile home that was picked up by a tornado and dropped onto a car. A tornado in eastern New York destroyed a camper and barn in a sparsely populated area about 75 miles southeast of Syracuse.
Saturday's storms in Nebraska killed one woman, injured 37 others, destroyed 158 homes and damaged at least 57 others in Lancaster, Saline, Gage and Cass counties.
A tornado all but leveled Hallam, Neb., on Saturday. Residents were still going through surviving personal property and deciding whether to rebuild their homes in the town of 276.
"It's just about a total loss," said Hallam resident Millie Schuster, whose possessions were reduced to an heirloom clock, the family Bible and a closet full of clothes.
In the northern Illinois community of Gurnee, the Des Plaines River (search) was expected to crest Tuesday afternoon at a record 12.5 feet — 5.5 feet over flood stage. The rising water had closed schools for more than 2,000 youngsters and 18 families had evacuated homes near the river, officials said.
"The river seems to have slowed down a little bit. It's not rising as quickly as it was," Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick said. "We're hoping for the best. Maybe we're going to get lucky here."
Downstream at the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, the river is expected to crest at 11.4 feet Thursday evening, a record 6.4 feet over the flood stage, the weather service said.
Residents of both Illinois towns said they fear the flooding could be worse than a 1986 inundation that caused more than $100 million in damage.
In central Iowa, the Raccoon River had reached 19.2 feet at Des Moines on Tuesday — 7.2 feet above flood stage — and continued to rise. The flood closed the main road to the city's airport, although other routes were available, authorities said. The airport was closed for about an hour Monday during tornado warnings.