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4 killed in Midwest flooding; roads closed, levees strained

first_imgST. LOUIS — The latest round of Midwestern flooding claimed at least four lives, closed hundreds of roads and forced residents of river towns to shore up threatened levees with sandbags as waters rose to and near record levels in some communities.The National Weather Service issued flood warnings Friday along a large swath of the Mississippi River, as well as flash flood watches for parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas after recent rounds of heavy rain.The body of a missing kayaker was found Friday afternoon in a swollen southwest Missouri creek. Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. John Lueckenhoff identified the man as 35-year-old Scott M. Puckett of Forsyth, Missouri. The body of his friend, Alex Ekern, 23, was found Thursday.Puckett and Ekern were among three men who began paddling Wednesday afternoon in Bull Creek near the small town of Walnut Shade. The patrol said they were swept over a low-water bridge and caught in what is called a hydraulic, which creates a washing-machine effect that is hard to escape. One of the men survived.Flooding also claimed the life of a camper found Wednesday after he was caught in waters from an overflowed creek near the town of Ava, also in southwest Missouri. And in northern Indiana, a 2-year-old was killed when his mother drove onto a flooded road.last_img read more