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A flash-flood watch for Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Mississippi, New Madrid, Perry, Ripley, Scott, Stoddard and Wayne counties is in effect through Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
A surface cold front has been moving slowly across the region.
Rainfall totals of 3 to 4 inches can be expected over Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois, and 2 to 3 inches can be expected over western Kentucky and Southwest Indiana.
A band of heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms is expected immediately behind the front, while scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible southeast of the front.
Isolated thunderstorms within the band already have produced torrential rainfall. The band was nearly stationary for much of the evening before shifting southeast.
Widespread flooding may develop, especially near creeks and streams, and poorly draining areas. Particularly dangerous flash-floods likely will accompany the thunderstorms. It may take much of Sunday for high waters to recede.
If there is any possibility of a flash flood near you, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
* Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. n Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
* Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
* Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical warnings such as rain clouds or heavy rain.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
* Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
* Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
* Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.
Source: National Weather Service