U.S. midwest ravaged by rains

09:47, March 21, 2008

Heavy rains that ravaged the U.S. midwest for three days stopped on Thursday, leaving more than a dozen people reportedly dead and many homes under water.

Days of downpours led the National Weather Service to post flood warnings from Texas to Pennsylvania.

Levee breaches in southeast Missouri forced hundreds of people from their homes and left many major roadways impassable.

President George Bush declared 70 Missouri counties as disaster areas on Wednesday night and ordered federal aid to assist state and local authorities with rescue and cleanup operations.

Authorities in Missouri said there were people still trapped in houses with floodwaters preventing their escape.

Emergency workers were carrying out rescues in Arkansas as well, with some of the victims people still in boats that went out of control on the rapidly rising rivers.

The Missouri Emergency Management Agency reported dozens of homes destroyed or damaged across the state, and widespread evacuations.

Roads, including two Interstate highways in Ohio, were closed to traffic by the rising waters.

Source:Xinhua

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