TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahomans were nervously eying the rising water today after a second round of downpours flooded the northeast corner of the state.
Heavy storms dumping up to 4 inches of rain Tuesday forced creeks out of their banks in four counties. Residents scrambled to salvage what they could while schools closed and roads disappeared under water.
Craig County Sheriff George Vaughn said the flooding -- much of it runoff from heavy rains in southeast Kansas -- had been rising about 2 inches every 15 minutes.
Further north, a different sort of cleanup was underway after severe thunderstorms late Tuesday crashed through southern Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, ripping down power lines and plunging nearly 300,000 customers into the dark.
A 42-year-old woman died when a tree fell on her car in western Indiana. Almost 60,000 people in the central and western parts of the state were left without electricity.
Severe thunderstorms in southern Michigan overturned cars and left 190,000 customers without power early today. In Oakland County, car alarms rang and motorists attempted to navigate streets littered with fallen trees and live wires. At one store, employees sold Big Game lottery tickets by flashlight.
Strong storms also moved through northwestern Ohio, blowing several trucks off the Ohio Turnpike, causing minor injuries. About 40,000 utility customers, most of them in the region west of Toledo, lost power.
Meanwhile, assessment teams continued to tour the damage caused by flooding in Oklahoma over the weekend from storms that dumped 8 inches of rain in about two hours. More than 400 homes were damaged and one Tulsa woman died.
Gov. Frank Keating has declared seven counties disaster areas, leading the way for federal rebuilding assistance.
The Neosho River near Miami, about 88 miles northeast of Tulsa, came within a foot of homes, said Terry Durborow, emergency management director.
A few residents chose not to risk it and packed up and left. Others were busy storing things on blocks, he said.
''We have warned people who normally get flooded to be ready in case we need to get them out,'' Durborow said. ''We're just watching the water rise.''
On the Net:
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