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Rain inundates central Indiana, threatens dams

Mike Coy paddles a kayak around the flooded streets of Franklin, Ind. Saturday, June 7, 2008.

Strong storms smashed houses, deluged neighborhoods and left thousands without power across the Midwest on Friday in the latest round of fierce weather. Hot temperatures baked the region even as residents coped with the lack of electricity. A tornado raked a half-mile-wide path of destruction in northwestern Minnesota, where a house overlooking Pickerel Lake near Emmaville was destroyed, its contents spilling down the hill. Flooding forced the evacuation of about a dozen homes in the central Iowa town of Cambridge. Heavy rains that began Thursday night seeped into most basements and at least one foundation collapsed. In Wisconsin, the National Weather Service said a 72 mph wind gust was recorded near Lake Geneva in Walworth County. Funnel clouds were reported but damage was limited mainly to downed trees and power lines. Power outages and collapsed buildings due to high winds were reported late Friday in Michigan, and flash flooding forced highways closed in Missouri and Minnesota. Thousands of power outages caused by wind damage were also reported in Ohio, where temperatures Thursday reached the 90s. In Illinois, high winds and storms were causing delays and cancellations at airports. In Oklahoma, more than half of the town of Altus remained without power Friday after powerful storms the day before. In Indiana, the governor declared 41 counties disaster areas from recent severe storms and tornadoes. One person was killed earlier this week.
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