News MIDDAY UPDATE: Flooding from weekend storms in Plains states chases people from homes;White House welcomes Queen Elizabeth; circus tightrope walker falls in Marietta

Flooding forced hundreds of people from their homes early today and blocked streets and highways following a weekend of violent thunderstorms across the central Plains.

Kim Moore, her two sons and their dogs were evacuated from their Topeka, Kan., home after water rose knee-deep in their street.

‘‘The rescuers brought rafts up to the houses,’’ Moore said. ‘‘My car’s flooded in right now.’’

Shawnee County emergency management reported 490 water rescues from homes and vehicles by 8 a.m. today.

High water also blocked roads and chased people from their homes today in parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

In southwest Iowa, emergency officials urged nearly 1,600 residents of Red Oak and all of tiny Coburg to evacuate because of the rising East Nishnabotna River and a creek. An estimated 5 inches of fell during the weekend at Red Oak and light rain continued today. Flood stage there is 18 feet but the river had already hit 25.7 feet, said Adam Wainwright, emergency management coordinator for Montgomery County.

Wainwright said some homes had been flooded, but he did not immediately know how many. No injuries were reported.


With trumpet fanfare and a 21-gun salute, President Bush welcomed Queen Elizabeth II to the White House this morning as thousands of invited guests crowded the South Lawn for a glimpse of the British monarch.

Bush and his wife, Laura, were waiting on the driveway on a near-perfect spring day as the queen and her husband, Prince Philip, arrived by limousine. The two couples briefly shook hands before moving on to the formal welcome.

The ceremony included a parade by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps dressed in black tricorn hats, white wigs, waistcoats, colonial coveralls, and red regimental coats. Their uniforms are patterned after those worn by the musicians of Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army.

It was a day of high pomp and pageantry from a president known for his informality. In honor of the queen, Bush agreed to host the first white-tie dinner of his presidency, with entertainment by violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.

Tonight, 134 guests will return in white tie and tails for the state dinner among 13 damask-clothed tables set with gold-trimmed ivory china and gilded silver candelabras.

- Associated Press


— Macon City Councilwoman Filomena Mullis is expected to announce today whether or not she'll seek re-election. We'll let you know what she decides.


— Four students from Mercer University will be riding their bicycles this summer from San Francisco to Washington to raise money for charity Push America ( We'll tell you more about their plans.

— The Warner Robins City Council will meet tonight to decide whether to replace remaining members of contentious Downtown Development Authority, or even disband the board. We'll let you know what happens.


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