Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Deadly rains pause but will return by midweek across eastern half of U.S.

by Alex Johnson /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Heavy rains and tornadoes spanning the eastern half of the United States have been blamed for at least six deaths, and forecasters said Monday that more dangerous rain is on the way this week.

The storm systems have led to the wettest February on record over a wide part of the country, with as much as 10 inches recorded in areas from Texas to Pennsylvania.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The body of a 6-year-old boy was recovered Monday morning near Mosquito Creek in Shelby County, Ohio, the sheriff's office told NBC affiliate WDTN of Dayton. His parents identified their son later Monday, it said.

"They're devastated, just as any of us would be who have children," Chief Deputy James Frye said. "The last thing a parent wants to have to do is bury their own child."

Five other people were confirmed to have been killed in the severe thunderstorms from the Upper Midwest to Appalachia through Sunday.

In Chesapeake, Ohio, on the West Virginia border, all lanes of State Route 7 were closed indefinitely for 10 blocks after a rockslide sent boulders, rocks and trees cascading onto the highway about 7 a.m. ET Monday.

No cars were hit and no one was hurt, NBC affiliate WSAZ of Huntington, West Virginia, reported, but the highway will be shut indefinitely because "the road will need to be rebuilt due to it being damaged by the boulders," Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Mike Gore said.

The rains had mainly dried up by late Sunday, but not before more than 10 inches fell on Louisville, Kentucky, and more than 7 inches fell on Pittsburgh, the National Weather Service said.

Image: Ohio River in Cincinnati
The Ohio River flooded near Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Monday.DroneBase / via AP

Farther south, communities from Texas to Kentucky were still cleaning up Monday after five days of heavy rain. Trash, rocks and dirt lined the curbs in Heber Springs, in Cleburne County in northern Arkansas.

"When there's just so much at one time that falls, there's not much you can do," Rhonda Brock, who runs a consignment store, told NBC affiliate KARK of Little Rock. "It's almost like a waterfall just rushing."

The Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, was cresting late Monday afternoon at its highest level in almost 20 years. It was expected to remain above flood stage through Tuesday night — just in time for a new weather system that's expected to again drench northeastern Texas into the lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys and south to the Carolinas through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

"There's going to be a threat of additional flooding that returns to these areas, especially on Wednesday," said Danielle Banks, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, who warned that parts of the Carolinas could get as much as 5 more inches of rain.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer told NBC affiliate WAVE that flooding cleanup costs for the city were already expected to be at least $2.8 million. And that's separate from what individual homeowners will have to pay, which was keeping home repair and insurance companies busy.

"You get the first call, and they just keep coming in," Shawn Sizemore owner of Technicare Carpet Cleaning of Louisville, told WAVE.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news