Heavy Rain Grounds Flights in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) -- High wind and heavy rain grounded hundreds of flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday, and a control tower was briefly evacuated when a funnel cloud was spotted.

The same weather system caused flooding elsewhere and one drowning was reported in Missouri. The National Weather Service posted flood and flash flood warnings from Texas to Ohio, with tornado watches in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

American Airlines canceled flights scheduled from late morning through the end of the day, affecting some 700 departures and arrivals, and more than 100 of the carrier's flights headed to D-FW were diverted, said airline spokesman Tim Wagner.

"The airlines are bringing planes back from the tarmac to the gate, and it's going to be a tough afternoon," airport spokesman Ken Capps said.

Federal Aviation Administration officials evacuated the airport's west tower for about 15 minutes after seeing a funnel cloud in the area. Another funnel cloud was spotted over Lake Lewisville, just north of the airport.

At Dallas Love Field, some 20 Southwest flights were canceled, 20 others were diverted and many other flights were delayed, said airline spokeswoman Ashley Rogers.

Parts of southern Missouri had flooding after as much as 4 inches of rain fell during the morning. An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain was possible.

About 200 homes and businesses were flooded in Piedmont, Mo., a town of about 2,000 residents, because of flooding on McKenzie Creek, said Wayne County Emergency Management Director Eric Fuchs. No injuries were reported.

Up to 30 homes were evacuated in Winona, Mo., and dozens of rural roads were blocked by water in southwest Missouri.

One man drowned in Ellington, Mo., about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, State Water Patrol Lt. Nicholas Humphrey said.

Some roads also were flooded in northern Arkansas. In Ohio, where the threat of heavy rain combined with melting snow, Vinton County dismissed schools early on Tuesday because of rising water on roads.

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