At least 3 dead as Tropical Depression Bill lashes central US

OKLAHOMA CITY - Tropical Depression Bill pelted the central United States with heavy rain on Thursday after causing at least three deaths in the region, including a toddler in Oklahoma who was swept out of his father's arms by raging waters, officials said.

In the southern Oklahoma city of Ardmore, emergency workers on Thursday found the body of the 2-year-old boy who died in flooding the day before after he and his father were swept into a creek, said Ardmore Police Captain Eric Hamblin.

One person in neighboring Missouri was killed this week by flooding caused by rains from the storm hitting the region and a woman died in central Texas when she lost control of her car while driving through the storm, officials said.

Broadcaster KOTV, citing police, reported on Thursday the body of an 80-year-old woman also was discovered in a submerged vehicle near Tecumseh, Oklahoma, about 45 miles (72 km) southeast of Oklahoma City.

Reuters could not independently confirm the report as local officials could not be reached for comment.

Bill, the second named tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, was on a path to the northeast, through Arkansas and Missouri into West Virginia.

Some areas could see as much as 12 inches (30 cm), the National Weather Service said.

By Friday, the center of the storm is expected to be over southern Missouri and weaken over the next few days, the National Weather Service said.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency, due to floods. "With more heavy rain in the forecast, we will continue to remain in direct contact with law enforcement and local officials as we work to protect lives and property," Nixon said in a statement.

The storm, which came ashore in Texas on Tuesday, lashed an area from Houston to Dallas with heavy rain.

In late May, severe weather killed nearly 40 people in Texas and Oklahoma with storms causing flooding that damaged thousands of structures.

Tropical Depression Bill could cause rivers already swollen by those torrential rains to spill over their banks again, the National Weather Service warned.

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