Rain and ice batter central U.S., killing four

Flooding and travel delays are likely over the holiday weekend for a swath of south and central United States stretching from Texas to Kentucky, bringing up to a foot of rain in some places and killing at least four, weather forecasters said Saturday.

JOHNSON, ARKANSAS, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 28, 2015)(NBC) – Flooding and travel delays are likely over the holiday weekend for a swath of south and central United States stretching from Texas to Kentucky, bringing up to a foot of rain in some places and killing at least four, weather forecasters said Saturday (November 28).

At the same time, an ice storm stretching from New Mexico through West Texas and Oklahoma and up to Kansas City knocked out power for tens of thousands of residents by Saturday morning. The system is expected to lead to airport delays across the central and north part of the United States, according to Accuweather.com.

A double hit of moisture from Tropical Storm Sandra and the Gulf of Mexico combine brought record-breaking rains and flooding to the Dallas-Fort Worth region over the Thanksgiving holiday. The deluge led to the deaths of four motorists in the area, including a woman missing since Thursday and presumed dead, authorities said.

Flash flood watches are in effect for North Texas and parts of Arkansas and Missouri, while winter advisories and ice storm warnings were in effect in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, according to the National Weather Service.

The small town of Johnson, Arkansas, just east of Ozark National Forest, was soaked in the downpour.

Meteorologists blamed the weather in part on moisture from Tropical Storm Sandra off the western coast of Mexico.

An Ice Storm Warning put out by the National Weather Service remains in effect in several counties in Oklahoma.

Ice covered trees and street signs in the town of Okarche, northwest of Oklahoma City.

Plummeting temperatures sent customers into Stroh’s Surplus store.

“The colder it gets the more people come in, you know,” said owner Scott Stroh.

More rain is expected Saturday night and Sunday in North Texas, which is especially vulnerable to flooding after an already wet season. That has prompted concerns about drivers heading home after Thanksgiving on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

This is the wettest year on record in Dallas, which had seen 57.56 inches of rain in 2015 by Saturday morning, according to Accuweather.com.

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