OKLAHOMA CITY – Another wave of storms swept through Texas and Oklahoma Friday, spawning at least three tornadoes in central Texas, dumping rain into swollen creeks and rivers and forcing an evacuation at an assisted living center.
The storms come just days after dozens of tornadoes swept from the Rockies to the Plains, killing at least four people in three states.
As the slow-moving thunderstorms moved into Oklahoma, more than three inches of rain fell. Authorities issued flash flood warnings in 10 counties in the southern and central parts of the state.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol sent its dive team to an accident site where a car plunged into the Illinois River, and there were numerous other wrecks, Capt. Chris West said. No deaths were reported.
"It's definitely played havoc on our traffic," West said.
The most significant problem was proving to be flash flooding, National Weather Service meteorologist Forrest Mitchell in Norman, Okla.
"That's been the main weather feature today," Mitchell said. "We've had a lot of rain. We certainly need the moisture, but some areas have received so much rain today and that has led to localized flash flooding."
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. reported about 8,000 customers without electricity late Friday night.
In central Texas, tornadoes damaged an indoor rodeo arena and yanked down power lines, but there were no injuries reported.
Heavy rain and flooding forced the evacuation of an assisted living complex in Corsicana, Texas, where 7 inches of rain fell, authorities said. About 60 elderly residents were taken to a church on higher ground for safety, said Eric Meyers, Navarro County Emergency Management coordinator. The community is 52 miles southeast of Dallas.
Elsewhere in Texas, heavy rains washed out five bridges and prompted authorities to perform a swift water rescue and two vehicle rescues, state authorities said.
The same storm system dumped mountains of snow on Wyoming, causing highway pileups and closing large portions of three interstates. Roads there were still largely inaccessible Friday. Up to 70 inches of snow fell in the Wind River Mountains area since Wednesday.