Much of Indiana is expected to get off to a wet start to the weekend with rain predicted through the day today.
As of Friday afternoon, that was the case for Miami County, which was set to be under a flood watch starting at 7 p.m. and lasting through 7 p.m. today.
“Overnight tonight and into Saturday, that’s going to be the heaviest period of rainfall,” Nathan Marsili, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Northern Indiana Office told the Tribune on Friday.
Rainfall in Miami County is expected to be in the “two to three-inch range,” he said. “Most of that falls tonight and into probably right through midafternoon tomorrow.”
“Flooding of streams, creeks and low lying areas, including roads and underpasses, is expected,” read the flood watch advisory posted to the Weather Service website on Friday. “In addition, significant river flooding is expected later this weekend and extend through much of next week.”
Those concerns put both the Eel and Wabash rivers in Miami County under river flood warnings, that, as of Friday afternoon, were expected to stay in place through Wednesday morning.
Along with the warnings, the Weather Service reminded residents to never drive vehicles through flooded areas as “water may be too deep to allow safe passage” and to “never allow children to play in or near flood waters.”
The watch and warnings came Friday as powerful storms threatened many states to the south including Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
In Oklahoma, multiple tornado warnings were issued late Friday morning and much of the state was under a tornado watch. Though severe storms were already forming in Oklahoma, no damage was immediately reported, and the main threats for the larger region were not expected until Friday afternoon and evening.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said boats, helicopters, medical and rescue teams have been placed on standby in case they are needed.
“I ask that all Texans keep those in the storm’s path and all of Texas’ first responders in their prayers as they deal with the effects of this storm,” Abbott said in a statement.
Wicked weather also will pose a threat to Alabama and Georgia as the system moves eastward on Saturday, forecasters said.
Heavy rains also could cause flooding across the South and part of the Midwest.
The latest forecasts call for up to 4 inches of rain in parts of Texas and southeast Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.
Many streams already are at or near flood levels because of earlier storms, and heavy rains could lead to flash flooding across the region, forecasters said. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were under flash flood watches on Friday in anticipation of the drenching rains.
This story contains reporting from Jeff Martin with The Associated Press.