At least one dead after flooding, tornados hit Missouri

By Carey Gillam

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) - Missouri officials on Thursday said one person was dead and at least two more were missing after heavy rains, high winds and tornadoes raged across the state overnight.

Emergency crews found the body of one person who appeared to have been swept from their vehicle in flash flooding south of St. Louis, Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Al Nothum said. Crews were still searching for at least two more people missing after their vehicles were found in the waters, he said.

Floodwater also breached a levee near the small community of Festus, Missouri, south of St. Louis, flooding two mobile home parks and forcing water rescues for more than 60 people as up to six inches of rain fell overnight, according to the National Weather Service. Three people were injured and taken to a hospital during the evacuation, according to officials.

And in Crystal City, Missouri, along the eastern edge of the state, flash flooding overwhelmed the emergency room of Mercy Hospital and forced the evacuation of more than 20 patients.

"We had a lot of flooding and some other damage from strong winds," said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Hudson. "The flooding has really been the main story here."

Additionally, one tornado touched down near the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri, on Wednesday night, causing damage to several buildings and overturning a fireworks trailer, while another hit near Pleasant Hill, Missouri, Hudson said.

On Thursday, emergency officials were assessing the damage even as more stormy weather was brewing nearby. Forecasts showed storms mostly targeting areas south of Missouri in Arkansas and beyond, according to the National Weather Service.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit and Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Susan Heavey)