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The Latest: Arkansas River could flood again due to Bill

Port Lavaca Mayor Jack Whitlow surveys damage to a park pier as Tropical Storm Bill passes over, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Port Lavaca, Texas. The storm came ashore shortly before noon along Matagorda Island with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Port Lavaca Mayor Jack Whitlow surveys damage to a park pier as Tropical Storm Bill passes over, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Port Lavaca, Texas. The storm came ashore shortly before noon along Matagorda Island with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

11:30 a.m. CDT

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says rain related to Tropical Depression Bill in the northwestern corner of the state and Oklahoma could bring long-term flooding to Arkansas.

Department spokesman Rick Fahr said Wednesday that 3 to 5 inches of rain is forecast in northwestern Arkansas. He says that water will drain east, raising levels along the Arkansas River in the same areas that suffered through floods in late May and early June.

Fahr says it wouldn’t be clear how high the river might rise until the rain is over.

Rain and reservoir releases in Oklahoma have already raised water levels in the Arkansas River, flooding several areas and closing the river to barge traffic for an extended period of time.


8:45 a.m. CDT

A flash flood watch is in effect for most of eastern Oklahoma and part of northwest Arkansas as Tropical Depression Bill flows northward.

The National Weather Service predicts the storm could drop between 3 and 7 inches of rain across Oklahoma before it leaves the state Thursday. The flood watches will likely remain until Friday morning.

Forecaster Forrest Mitchell in Norman says there is also a marginal risk of weak tornadoes and thunderstorms. He says flash flooding on Wednesday and Thursday is the primary risk and warned drivers to steer clear of high water.

Mitchell says the threat of flooding will remain after the storm passes as water makes its way into rivers and lakes still swollen from May showers.


8:40 a.m. CDT

Flood warnings remain in effect around Illinois, and homes and businesses have been evacuated in at least one community.

The LaSalle County village of Utica ordered people to leave low-lying areas near the Illinois River. Some of the same areas experienced flooding in 2008 and 2013.

Mayor Matt Jereb says the order to leave by 10 p.m. Tuesday went out by recorded telephone messages. He says it mostly affected small businesses and there are only about a dozen residents there.

Portions of the Des Plaines, Fox and DuPage rivers in northern Illinois are also under flood warnings.

In the center of the state, warnings remain for the Little Wabash River near Clay City.

And in southern Illinois, the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro is also under a flood warning.


8:10 a.m. CDT

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has declared an emergency throughout its Kansas City District because of high river levels and a rainy forecast in northwest Missouri.

The Level III emergency allows sponsors of levees to obtain technical assistance for damage to qualifying levees caused by the high water.

Judd Kneuvean, emergency management director for the Kansas City District, says the corps has delivered 43,000 sandbags for use in the Blue River Basin. The corps also sent 1,000 sandbags to Manhattan, Kansas.

Kneuvean told The St. Joseph News-Press ( ) that rivers throughout the district are “prime” for flooding after weeks of intermittent rains. He says part of the problem is water backing up into streams and rivers because of high waters in the Missouri River.


07:30 a.m. CDT

A 60-year-old eastern Missouri man has died after his car was swept off a road by high water.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says John P. Lyons, of Sullivan, died Tuesday evening on a road near Meramec State Park in Washington County, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis.

The patrol says Lyons tried to drive through a flooded roadway when water forced his car off the road and the vehicle overturned. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch through Friday evening for a large swatch of eastern Missouri, including St. Louis and Washington counties. Severe thunderstorms are possible, with between 4 and 7 inches of rain forecast, adding to already high water levels in the region.


3:30 a.m. CDT

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for seven counties in southeastern Texas as a tropical depression makes its way inland.

At 2:50 a.m. Wednesday, the service reported areas in southeastern Texas that will experience flooding include Sealy, Hempstead, Prairie View, East Bernard, Wallis, Pine Island, Simonton, San Felipe, Pattison, Egypt and Monaville.

Earlier, Tropical Storm Bill lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical depression, but is still expected to bring heavy rainfall to much of rain-weary Texas.


1:15 a.m. CDT

Flood-weary Texans are bracing for heavy rain and possible flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill creep further inland.

The center of the storm was expected to move northward just west of the Interstate 35 corridor, dropping 4 to 5 inches of rain on areas still cleaning up and recovering from Memorial Day weekend floods that left 14 dead and two missing along the Blanco River alone in Blanco and Hays counties.

A flash flood warning was in effect until 2:45 a.m. for parts of five counties in south-central Texas.

Gov. Greg Abbott was to receive a briefing from state emergency officials Wednesday morning in Austin.

Meanwhile, in North Texas, where forecasts called for up to 12 inches of rain, Arlington residents were picking up sandbags being offered for free by city officials, and Dallas authorities were monitoring roadways for high water.


12:55 a.m. CDT

Tropical Storm Bill has lost strength and been downgraded to a depression as it dumps rain on Central Texas.

Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said the center of the depression was located about 40 miles east of Austin.

Bill was moving northward at 13 mph and was expected to continue in that direction later Wednesday with a turn to the northeast on Thursday.

The center says maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 35 mph.

The system was expected to weaken further over the next 48 hours, though it was still likely to bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to eastern Texas and Oklahoma. Western Arkansas and southern Missouri could see 3 to 6 inches.

The tropical storm warning along the Texas Gulf Coast has been canceled.