More than 1,000 people were flooded out of their homes Thursday after heavy rain that swamped communities across the Midwest sent Ohio's rivers spilling over their banks.
The storm's death toll also rose when three people were electrocuted by lightning at a bus stop.
Ohio's Governor says, "This is a major, major disaster."
In one Ohio county alone, more than 700 homes were severely damaged or destroyed by flooding, Strickland said. Midwest-wide, the count is in the thousands.
Findlay's firefighters and a volunteer armada navigated boats and canoes through streets waist-deep in water in their northwest Ohio town Wednesday, plucking neighbors and their pets from porches. Every downtown street and many neighborhoods were under water as the Blanchard River topped 7 feet above flood stage, its highest level since a 1913 flood.
With the flooding and more storms moving through, the death toll
across the Upper Midwest and from the remnants of Tropical Storm
Erin that swept Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri over the past week
also rose to at least 26.
A woman and her child waiting at a bus stop were electrocuted when lightning hit a utility pole at a flooded intersection in Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday, and a passenger who tried to save them was electrocuted as well.
In Mansfield, Ohio, flood water tipped over a gas can in an apartment garage, fueling a fire when the vapors reached the pilot light on a water heater, killing a 74-year-old man.
To add to the misery of the survivors, much of the state was under a heat advisory Thursday, with temperatures expected to hit the upper 90s.