Rare winter floods responsible for 18 deaths in Missouri

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ST. LOUIS, MO – When it rains, it pours for folks in many parts of the country, and, we should add, it also floods.

Rare winter floods have turned deadly, with 18 flood-related deaths reported in Missouri.

“The vast majority of deaths we've had, can't stress this enough, is people driving into water, especially people driving into the water at night,” said Gov. Jay Nixon.

The high waters also closed parts of two interstates in Missouri and in Illinois.

Untreated sewage is flowing into rivers and streams, and rising waters continue to threaten hundreds of homes and dozens of communities.

The mayor of west Alton, Missouri, about 20 miles north of St. Louis, has told any remaining residents to get out of town.

The mighty Mississippi should crest about 15 feet above flood stage at St. Louis on Thursday, and that would be the second highest level on record.

In Idaho, heavy snow snapped trees in two, taking down power and cable lines. Tom Hoag lives in Post Falls. “Well we've been out here since '61 and this is the wettest and heaviest snow I've ever remembered seeing.”

Bad weather in Chicago caused the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights at O’Hare International Airport and another 300 canceled at Midway.

In Fort Wayne, IN, the water turned to ice as precipitation mixed with cold temperatures spread to the eastern part of the nation.

Don’t go thinking we’re the only ones getting knocked around by Mother Nature. In northern Mexico, authorities warn of a fifth winter storm that will bring more snow and sub-zero temperatures. Flooding is affecting large parts of South America, including Argentina where torrential rains have displaced more than 160,000 residents.

It’s starting to look like 2015 is going out, not with a bang, but with a blast of snow, wind, rain, and floods.