Video: Storms and snow hit Midwest, Plains

updated 4/1/2008 11:38:39 AM ET 2008-04-01T15:38:39

Flooding from heavy storms that swept across the nation's midsection claimed two young lives: the body of a 2-year-old girl swept away by flood waters was found Tuesday morning, while a 7-year-old drowned in Tennessee while playing with friends.

Mackinsey Beck disappeared near Peggs on Monday as her mother, Heather Alverson, carried her from their home to escape rising water.

“She had the baby on her shoulders and slipped and fell, she and the baby both fell in the rushing water,” said Trooper Betsy Randolph.

The National Weather Service said as much as 6 inches of rain fell on the area Monday as severe thunderstorms pounded parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. High wind and a few tornadoes caused scattered damage.

In western Tennessee, one man was missing after being swept into a flooded ditch Monday, and a 7-year-old drowned in a rain-swollen creek while playing with friends, Shelby County sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Shular said. The Memphis area got 2.4 inches of rain overnight, the weather service said Tuesday.

Elsewhere, heavy snow fell across the Upper Midwest, with just over 6 inches by Tuesday morning in parts of central and northwestern Wisconsin, and 7.5 inches in St. Paul, Minn.

The Minnesota State Patrol said slick roads contributed to at least one traffic death Monday.

Possible twister hurts 3
Also Monday, three people in southwest Missouri were treated for minor injuries after a possible tornado flattened an antique store and gutted a gas station in Buffalo.

Terry Lane, emergency management director for Missouri’s Dallas County, said the damage may have been caused by a sudden “downburst” from the thunderstorm.

“There was no warning. We had nothing on radar” to indicate a funnel cloud, Lane said.

Strong winds collapsed a convenience store; many buildings were damaged with roofs ripped up and windows blown out, and trees and power lines were toppled along a narrow path through Neosho, about 90 miles southwest of Buffalo.

Emergency officials said a tornado touched down briefly in rural Lawrence County. It damaged a large barn and some utility poles south of Miller.

Massive pileup in Colorado
In Colorado, at least one person died and more than a dozen others were injured in a snowy pileup that involved as many as 75 vehicles along Interstate 70 near Vail Pass, shutting down the main east-west route, State Trooper Gilbert Sullivan said.

Rain showers moving across Illinois canceled or delayed hundreds of flights on Monday.

More than 400 flights at O’Hare International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest, had been canceled, said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham.

The downpours also brought flood warnings to Illinois. The Weather Service issued a warning for the Fox River at Algonquin and said moderate flooding occurred at the Rock River in Rockton.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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