Midwest floods kill 2; hundreds evacuated

FedEx driver Jay McMullin helps 78-year-old Odell Bunch into the delivery truck after Bunch's Ford Ranger was swept off of Hwy 34 by flood waters on March 18.
FedEx driver Jay McMullin helps 78-year-old Odell Bunch into the delivery truck after Bunch's Ford Ranger was swept off of Hwy 34 by flood waters on March 18.

PIEDMONT, Mo. (CBS/AP) -- Torrential rains chased hundreds of people from their flooded homes and deluged roads in the U.S. midsection Tuesday, killing at least two people in Missouri and sweeping a teen down a drainage pipe near Dallas.

The storm system also grounded hundreds of flights. One control tower at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport was briefly evacuated when a funnel cloud was spotted.

The National Weather Service posted flood and flash flood warnings from Texas to Ohio, with tornado watches in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Parts of Indiana saw eight inches of rain in the last 24 hours, and rivers are at or near flood stage, reports CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers.

Emergency officials in Mesquite, Texas, searched for a 14-year-old boy apparently swept away by floodwaters as he and a friend played in a creek.

Heavy rain began falling Monday and just kept coming. Forecasters said some parts of Missouri, where they saw more than a foot of rain, could get 10 inches of rain or more before the storms finally stop Wednesday, reports Bowers.

Gov. Matt Blunt activated the Missouri National Guard as high water closed hundreds of roads.

About 300 of the 900 homes in Piedmont were evacuated Tuesday when the McKenzie Creek flowed over its banks and caused flooding 2 to 3 feet deep in the center of town. Dozens of people were rescued in about 15 to 20 boat trips.

Up to 30 homes were evacuated in Winona, and some residents of Cape Girardeau were trapped in their homes, the State Emergency Management Agency said. In the town of Ellington, as many as 50 homes and half the businesses were evacuated, officials said.

The body of an 81-year-old man was found in the water at Ellington, about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, said Missouri State Water Patrol Lt. Nicholas Humphrey. A 21-year-old state Department of Transportation worker was killed when his dump truck was hit by a tractor-trailer rig as he helped out in a flooded area, state officials said.

In Arkansas, authorities searched for a man whose truck was believed to have been swept from a low-water bridge. Authorities found only the vehicle.

Hundreds of people in Lancaster, south of Dallas, were advised to evacuate their homes as the Ten Mile Creek rose. By evening, the creek waters had receded.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, more than half of the 950 scheduled departures were canceled and 100 arrivals were diverted because of heavy rain and winds that briefly reached more than 100 mph, airport officials said.

Federal Aviation Administration officials evacuated the airport's west tower for about 15 minutes Tuesday morning after seeing a funnel cloud. Another was spotted over Lake Lewisville, just north of the airport.

By Tuesday night, the FAA said it was accepting about 50 arrivals and departures per hour. Normally, more than 120 flights use the airport's seven runways every hour, the airport said in a news release.

More cancellations were expected Wednesday morning.

At Dallas Love Field, some 20 Southwest flights were canceled, 20 others were diverted and many other flights were delayed, airline spokeswoman Ashley Rogers said.

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The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.