News

Houses washed away as Midwest rivers swell

Floodwater washed away three houses and threatened dams in Wisconsin on Monday as military crews joined desperate sandbagging operations to hold back Indiana streams surging toward record levels.

The East Coast simmered through temperatures climbing toward the century mark.

Ten deaths were blamed on stormy weekend weather, most in the Midwest. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle declared an emergency for 29 counties and President Bush late Sunday declared a major disaster in 29 Indiana counties. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said nearly a third of his state's 99 counties need federal help.

Rivers in several parts of the Midwest swelled with the runoff from heavy weekend rainfall, topped by the 11 inches that fell Saturday in Indiana.

Water was pouring over the top of Wisconsin's Dell Creek Dam on Lake Delton in Sauk County, and had swept away three houses, county emergency management director Jeff Jelinek said. He was not sure whether there were any injuries.

Two thousand people in Columbia County, about 30 miles north of Madison, were urged to evacuate below the Wyocena and Pardeeville dams, a spokesman for the county's emergency management said.

While the Midwest fought to cope with flooding, the East was locked in a sauna. Heat advisories were posted Monday from the Carolinas to Connecticut with temperatures expected to hit 100 from Georgia to New York, the National Weather Service said. Raleigh-Durham hit a record 101 on Sunday.

“It's just crazy,” said New York City street worker Jessica Pena as she swept a midtown Manhattan street about 8:15 a.m. The temperature already was in the upper 80s.

  Comments