Source AP ©

Storms ravage in US taking lots of human lives

Parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin have sunk in up to a foot (30 centimeters) of rain, causing the evacuation of two towns, while the remnants of Tropical Storm Erin hammered Oklahoma.

In all, at least 20 deaths have been linked to the rains over the past few days - six in southeastern Minnesota, 8 in Texas and 6 in Oklahoma. Minnesota authorities were searching on Monday for one man who was missing.

Steady rain fell during the night as Minnesota National Guard soldiers guarded communities that were cleared out after the devastating flooding early Sunday. More rain was possible Monday, and flash flood warnings were issued for northern Iowa, as well.

In the Minnesota town of Brownsville, eight people survived as their houses were pushed over a bluff by a mudslide, according to the Winona Daily News. Rescue workers in Winona County resumed the search for a 37-year-old man whose car was found upside down next to a creek near a highway rest stop.

The weekend fatalities included four people who died when their cars were swept off roads, two in a vehicle that plunged into a 30-foot gully and two others whose car was swept into a ditch.

The town of Stockton, with 803 residents, was evacuated, as was Houston, a community of 995. Parts of three other communities were also evacuated and Gov. Tim Pawlenty ordered 240 National Guard soldiers to help and declared a state of emergency in six counties.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency in three counties in the southwest corner of his state, where more evacuations took place and damage was estimated Monday in the millions of dollars.

More than 200 homes were flooded in the Crawford County communities of Gays Mills and Soldier Grove, each with about 600 to 640 residents, authorities said.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin continued to pound the southern Plains region, and at least 14 deaths were blamed on the flooding.

In Kingfisher, Oklahoma, about 100 residents were evacuated from their homes after the nearby Cimarron River flooded.