MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
A relentless rain followed, flooding already swollen rivers and creeks. Thousands of people have been evacuated along the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and their tributaries. And as NPR's David Schaper reports, the worst is yet to come.
DAVID SCHAPER: Already one of the wetter and stormier springs in recent years, the weather in the Midwest and South Central parts of the country keeps getting worse. This latest set of storms moved into central Arkansas late yesterday afternoon, with a tornado tearing through the small town of Vilonia, Arkansas.
STEPHAN HAWKS: It's pretty devastating. There are between 14 and 16 homes that have been destroyed, several others that are damaged. The winds snapped the electrical poles like toothpicks.
SCHAPER: In western Kentucky, no tornados, but high winds knocked down trees, including one that fell onto the home of Joe Muncy in Murray, Kentucky.
JOE MUNCY: Yeah, I was awakened last night about 12:15 scared. I mean, I was scared, you know.
SCHAPER: Now flooding in the state is bad and getting worse.
STEVE BESHEAR: The Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are forecast to have major flooding with the possibility of historic flooding along the rivers from the Kentucky-Tennessee line on the Mississippi, through the Cairo confluences and all the way up the Ohio River to Smithland, Kentucky.
SCHAPER: A thousand residents of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, were told to evacuate yesterday, when floodwaters started topping the levees there. Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs says one of the levees breached today, but despite repeated warnings, some residents did not evacuate and had to be rescued by boat.
MARK DOBBS: Had one report from the fire chief that there was an individual even in southern Butler County stranded on top of a house. So, you know, there are some dire situations because some people chose to stay in their homes.
SCHAPER: David Schaper, NPR News.
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