Kansas Gov. John Carlin declared a state of emergency in the flood-bound Great Bend area yesterday and called the National Guard to battle the rising Arkansas River where a dike broke in five places.
No injuries were reported in the central Kansas town of 17,000 where storms dumped 13 inches of rain in a 24-hour priod.
"This is an island, the whole city is," Great Bend resident Wade Kern said. "And it's getting deeper."
Pararescue units from Scott Air Force Base, Ill., spent the day looking for people on rooftops in areas where only large National Guard trucks were able to move through waist-deep water.
Families also were being evacuated from their homes in nearby Pawnee Rock and Dundee.
Great Bend police officer Mike Jackson said there were no reports of looting in evacuated areas. He said the only reported incident involved a man with a shotgun who was arrested for threatening drivers whose cars splashed water into his house.
In Johnson City, Tex., rescue workers pulled the bodies of four people from the flood-swollen Pedernales River, bringing the death toll to eight from weekend flooding that forced 2,200 evacuations.
Since Memorial Day, flooding has accounted for 22 deaths in the Austin and central Texas area.
Blanco County Sheriff's Department officials recovered the bodies of four sightseers who ventured onto rocks protruding from the rain-swollen river at Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City Sunday and were swept away.
In California, at least 19 homes were destroyed and 10 damaged by brush fires swept out of the mountains by unseasonal Santa Ana winds, burning 18,000 widely scattered acres.
Illegal firecrackers sparked flames that jumped across three streets, sending people racing from their homes in Orange, 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Seven homes were burned, and nine others were damaged by flames.
Eight homes were gutted in San Diego's Spring Valley community. Flames also broke out in Mission Gorge and could be seen across the San Diego skyline. No injuries were reported.
Hundreds of acres burned in remote areas of Placer, Butte, Santa Clara and Marin counties in northern California. No homes were damaged, and fires were controlled or contained.
In southern California, blazes in Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties charred more than 900 acres. Firefighters battled 18 fires in Riverside County, losing four homes.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, cleanup efforts began after a tornado Sunday skipped along a 20-mile path, uprooting trees, flattening garages and damaging homes and businesses.
The storm caused two deaths and at least 99 injuries and destroyed or damaged at least 100 homes.
In Cardington, Ohio, residents continued cleaning up after a tornado that struck Saturday, killing four, injuring 60 and damaging or destroying 29 businesses and 171 dwellings.