Rains hit South, Midwest; woman killed in flood

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky was swamped by wave after wave of heavy rain, unleashing flash flooding that killed a woman, stranded a school bus and forced more than 160 rescues in Louisville.

The rains started Thursday and continued into Friday.

Authorities in Lee County found the body of a woman whose car was swept away by rushing water on Friday, Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy said. The coroner identified the victim as 63-year-old Lois McGovern, WLEX-TV reported Saturday.

McGovern had been stranded in her vehicle in high water on an eastern Kentucky highway. Rescue workers lost sight of her about two hours later, Purdy said. Police originally said that a child had been in the car with McGovern, but investigators now believe she was alone.

As rain pushed through parts of the South and Midwest, severe thunderstorms were also blamed for the death of a woman who was camping with her family at Natural Bridge State Resort Park in eastern Kentucky.

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Rains hit South, Midwest; woman killed in flood
Rescue teams with the Okolona Fire Protection District rescue a family stuck in the Guardian Court apartment complex Friday, April 3, 2015, in Louisville, Ky., after severe thunderstorms caused flooding in the area. A man was taken out on a stretcher and transported in an ambulance. A woman and baby were also rescued on a boat and were in good condition. (AP Photo/Claire Galofaro)
In this photo provided by the Indiana State Police, trucks are stranded in flash flooding following heavy rains that closed the interstate Friday, April 3, 2014 near Ferdinand, Ind. (AP Photo/Indiana State Police, Sgt. Philip Hensley)
In this photo provided by the Indiana State Police, firefighters rescue a UPS driver after his truck was stranded by flash flooding from heavy rains Friday, April 3, 2014 near Ferdinand, Ind. (AP Photo/Indiana State Police, Sgt. Philip Hensley)
Kevin Mansfield, right, helps Simone Wester and her 7-month old son Jeremiah from her flooded apartment building at the Guardian Court Apartments in Louisville, Ky., Friday, April 3, 2015. Authorities made more than 100 water rescues early Friday as area storms flooded roads and prompted at least one evacuation. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Simone Wester and her 7-month old son Jeremiah walk through the flood waters outside her apartment building at the Guardian Court Apartments in Louisville, Ky., Friday, April 3, 2015. More than eighteen inches of water flooded the apartment complex. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Simone Wester talks to family on the phone as she waits out the flooding at the Guardian Court Apartments in Louisville, Ky., Friday, April 3, 2015. Wester, who lives in a second floor apartment, decided to wait it out with her small child. Authorities in Louisville made more than 100 water rescues early Friday as area storms flooded roads and prompted at least one evacuation. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Simone Wester talks with family on the phone from the front door of her apartment building at the Guardian Court Apartments in Louisville, Ky., Friday, April 3, 2015. More than a foot of water flooded the apartment complex. Authorities in Louisville, Kentucky, made more than 100 water rescues early Friday as area storms flooded roads and prompted at least one evacuation. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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Meanwhile, thousands of people in Kansas lost power when winds reached nearly 90 mph, downing trees and damaging buildings.

In Louisville, Simone Wester awoke Friday to the sight of boats carting away her neighbors.

"It looked like a hurricane struck," said Wester, whose apartment complex was surrounded by floodwaters, waist-deep in some places. "I didn't know what to do."

Wester, 20, and her 7-month-old son, Jeremiah, were rescued by a man who waded through the floodwaters toward her.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said more than 160 water rescues had been made.

In Powell County, Kentucky, Catherine Carlson, 45, was killed and her husband was injured when a large tree limb fell on their tent, said coroner Hondo Hearne. Their three children didn't appear to be injured, he said.

The campground where the family was staying was evacuated due to flash flooding, said Gil Lawson, a spokesman for the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

A northern Kentucky school bus with 16 students aboard was stranded for about three hours by floodwaters. The Grant County students and bus driver eventually climbed up an embankment next to the bus and walked about a half mile to higher ground, where they were picked up, said Nancy Howe, a school district spokeswoman.

In Kansas, six people were injured in a severe thunderstorm, emergency management officials said. Several buildings were damaged in Newton and the Jabara Airport in Wichita was closed Friday morning because of storm debris on the airfield.

In Kentucky, more than 6 inches of rain fell in Louisville, and Lexington received more than 5 inches.

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