Fox News Weather Center

Flooding rainfall closes roads, prompts water rescues in central US

Another round of powerful thunderstorms pounded Tornado Alley late this week, bringing heavy rainfall to parts of the already inundated central Plains.

"On Friday and Friday night, some locations in the southern Plains were ravaged by over 6 inches of rain that made some roadways look more like ponds and rivers, and also caused small creeks and streams to overflow their banks," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott.

Reports of washed out county roads, highways under 6 inches of water, waterways overflowing their banks and flooded homes inundated emergency services from Friday afternoon through the early morning hours of Saturday as heavy rainfall moved across Kansas and Oklahoma into Missouri.

Oklahoma heavy rain

Hail pounded parts of Texas, Missouri and Kentucky, during storms that erupted on Friday night. In Brown County, Texas, golf ball-sized hail fell.

In Bushong in Lyon County, Kansas, it was reported that 1.60 inches of rain fell in just 15 minutes from a storm that moved out around 10:00 p.m. CDT.

By midnight CDT, up to 4 feet of water over area roads made them impassible throughout Oklahoma and parts of Missouri, according to emergency managers.

Oklahoma rainfall

Around this same time, flooding reached life-threatening levels in neighborhoods throughout Johnston County, Oklahoma. Homes were evacuated and water rescues became necessary by 2:00 a.m.

Waterways then began to overflow their banks in Douglas County, Missouri, resulting in flash flooding along area roads.

No fatalities have been reported, despite several tornado reports and widespread, destructive flooding.

"The risk of fatalities from tornadoes and flooding increases overnight since it is nearly impossible to see a tornado approaching and flooded roadways do not become apparent to drivers as quickly as during the daylight hours," said Elliott.

SC May 20

Oklahoma will welcome much-needed dry weather through at least Monday morning for cleanup operations, while repeated thunderstorms will raise the risk of flooding along the Gulf Coast into early next week.

While flood waters will recede in urban areas and along small streams, larger rivers will continue to rise through the weekend as the torrential rainfall's runoff drains downstream.