06:45 a.m. CDT
A rockslide including a large boulder has forced the closure of a portion of one of Oklahoma’s busiest thoroughfares after a night of heavy rains.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has indefinitely closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 in Murray County following a downpour in the area. Troopers say a vehicle struck the large boulder that rolled down from the Arbuckle Mountains and that at least one person suffered unspecified injuries.
Smaller rocks are continuing to fall in the area.
Murray County was one of the hardest areas hit by Tropical Depression Bill overnight. National Weather Service meteorologist Vivek Mahale in Norman says the storm dropped 6 and 11 inches of rain on portions of Murray and Carter counties.
The service has issued a flash flood watch for the eastern half of the state that is expected to last into the evening.
06:35 a.m. CDT
Flooding has washed out parts of Starved Rock State Park in northern Illinois, with five to six feet of water covering the main parking lot.
Park superintendent Kerry Novak tells The Ottawa Times (http://bit.ly/1Lh6bsI ) that most trails at Starved Rock remain open, as is the lodge and the visitors’ center. He says parts of the trails to Jacob’s Ladder and the La Salle Canyon are closed.
The park is bordered by the Illinois River, which is under a flood warning. Officials in the nearby village of Utica on Tuesday ordered residents to leave low-lying areas near the river.
Novak says park visitors should “prepare to get muddy,” no matter where they go in the park. He says he hopes the main parking lot will be open by the Fourth of July weekend.
3:50 a.m. CDT
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has suspended the water search for a 2-year-old on Hickory Creek in southern Oklahoma.
Officials in Ardmore say the search for the toddler, who remained missing Wednesday night after an attempted water rescue, will resume at 7 a.m. Thursday.
Around 9 p.m., Ardmore police requested assistance from highway patrol in the water rescue. According to Ardmore Police Department Assistant Chief Kevin Norris, a relative of the child was at the creek attempting to leave with the child when the child ran away and was swept away by the high water.
Ardmore has seen more than 5 inches of rain due to remnants of Tropical Storm Bill that made landfall in Texas.
1 a.m. CDT
Already-soaked states in the nation’s midsection are bracing for additional rainfall and possible flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill head their way.
Flood advisories were posted from Arkansas and Oklahoma into Illinois. High water could last into the weekend.
Areas of Texas that were hit by a series of storms around Memorial Day weekend got some relief Wednesday when a pocket of dry air entered the storm, lowering rainfall totals. Still, the second named tropical system of the year dropped more than 11 inches of rain southwest of Houston.
As the system headed north, Oklahoma residents were filling sandbags, bracing for a heavy corridor of rain.
National Weather Service hydrologists and meteorologists warned that the remnants of Bill could cause new floods in the same rivers that spilled over their banks during recent weeks.