OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Heavy rain fell across parts of the nation's midsection Monday, forcing at least one motorist stranded in high water to call for help, while others braced for storms that could bring hail and tornadoes over the next few days.
A tornado warning spanned part of Texas, and flood warnings stretched from southeast Texas north through western Missouri.
In Oklahoma City, firefighters responded to a call for a water rescue, but by the time they arrived, the people inside the stranded car had gotten out safely.
In Texas, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of three counties northwest of San Antonio and told people in mobile homes and vehicles to seek shelter immediately.
Tornado watches were issued for other parts of the state, including Dallas, where passenger rail trains were slightly delayed because of high winds.
The fresh crop of storms comes after two tornadoes damaged homes
and rail cars in North Platte, Neb., on Sunday.
Eight inches of rain were expected in southeastern Kansas, which has been unusually dry for nearly a year. The area has had less than three-fourths of the precipitation it typically gets since last April, state climatologist Mary Knapp said.
"We're looking at maybe a week of rain in that part of the state," she said. "That would be a very, very nice start to our spring season."
Emergency management officials said they're keeping an eye on the clouds but feel comfortable southeast Kansas can handle several
days of rain.
In Arkansas, however, the Department of Emergency Management
prepared teams to respond to flash floods, and the U.S. Forest
Service was closing campsites.
The state has seen more rain than usual in the past two weeks, and vegetation is still dormant. Forecasters say heavy precipitation could run off and cause flash floods.
"This time of year, the soil cannot hold as much precipitation as it can later in the spring," meteorologist Chris Buonanno said.
Meanwhile, a heavy snow storm hit northern Arizona and California over the weekend, toppling a 100-foot-tall fir tree that crashed into a house, killing a sleeping 8-year-old girl in Arnold, Calif.