Severe weather moved eastward Thursday, one day after at least four people were injured when a tornado ripped the roof from a Pine Bluff, Arkansas, apartment building as a powerful line of thunderstorms moved through the area.
The system threatened heavy rainfall from southeastern Texas into Arkansas and Louisiana into early this weekend.
The National Weather Service forecast possible severe thunderstorms, including large to very large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes along the same track.
The wild weather has forced people from their homes in Kansas, soaked waterlogged Houston once again and strained levees along the surging Mississippi River.
About 148,000 power outages were reported in Texas late Thursday night, after fire-rescue crews made a handful of high-water rescues in the western Houston area. No injuries were immediately reported.
The National Weather Service predicted the Missouri River would crest Thursday in St. Joseph, Missouri, at a level that would cause parkland and a residential area to flood.
The weather service said the thunderstorms will spread across the Great Lakes region, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and into the Lower Mississippi Valley and Southern Plains.
The prospects of heavy rain could cause flash flooding, but the highest risk for excessive rainfall will be in portions of southeastern Texas and Louisiana, according to the weather service.
In Arkansas, about 150 people in Pine Bluff were forced to take shelter at the convention center and other sites after the twister Wednesday night ripped the roof off an apartment complex about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock.
At least four people were injured, according to authorities.
“One of those is probably going to be pretty severe,” Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant said. “Three others walked out of the scene, and we may have had one who was having chest pains.”
Resident Carla Jackson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette she heard a loud boom and the storm moved in quickly.
“First there were real high winds and then a loud boom, and next thing you know, the lights started blinking. We heard the transformer blow, then another transformer blow, and then it just went black,” she said.
The NWS surveyed the damage Thursday and declared that a tornado had indeed touched down, although it was on the ground for only a quarter of a mile.
In Texas, the body of a man was recovered in Lady Bird Lake in Austin on Wednesday after the victim was swept away in rising waters, KXAN reported. Police were alerted after the body was spotted floating downstream under the South First Street Bridge.
At least four tornadoes were reported Wednesday, two in Brazos County, Texas, and two in Louisiana, according to the Storm Prediction Center.
A possible tornado destroyed a trailer home in Ruston, Louisiana, where two people were killed at the site of last month's deadly tornado.
Across the Midwest, flooding has caused billions of dollars of damage to farmland, homes and businesses. Some rivers have been above flood stage for more than six weeks.
In Kansas, flooding waterways forced evacuations and school closures Wednesday. The Kansas Turnpike remained closed near the Oklahoma border.
In northwest Missouri’s Holt County, Emergency Management Director Tom Bullock said a few people who moved back home after March’s flooding were forced out again late Wednesday by rising water. His own home is unreachable.
“The water won’t go away,” he said.
Wind-driven water caused more flooding in southeastern Michigan along western Lake Erie after rainfall that contributed to high water levels in the Great Lakes.
Firefighters in Monroe County’s Berlin Township used a boat to reach those stranded at homes by high water near Lake Erie. In nearby Frenchtown Township, pumps were used to clear roadways.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Kristin Lam, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'The water won't go away': Severe weather slams Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana