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Flood-Battered Midwest Assesses Damage

Residents will continue clean up efforts Tuesday and officials will start tallying the damage in the aftermath of severe flashing flooding across Wisconsin.

An engineer assessment team from the Wisconsin National Guard will be at Lake Delton on Tuesday to determine what equipment and supplies will be needed to begin repairs after the 245-acre lake washed out a highway embankment, forcing a new channel to the Wisconsin River.

The water destroyed lakefront homes and took a chunk of the local tourism industry with it on Monday.

CBS News' Linda Eggert reported the devastation near Lake Denton was tremendous. People were calling it surreal; one lady said it was like "a water slide times 1000."

A key part of the Wisconsin Dells tourism area, the lake overflowed after two days of rain and was empty and dry by Monday afternoon, said Thomas Diehl, a Lake Delton village trustee.

Local residents said three lakefront homes floated downstream and disappeared into the water, and the foundations of two other homes were destroyed. Nobody was injured and the homeowners either evacuated or were not there, residents said.

Floodwater threatened dams across the Midwest, and military crews joined desperate sandbagging operations to hold back Indiana streams surging toward record levels. Stormy weekend weather was blamed for 10 deaths, most in the Midwest.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday it would close a 250 mile stretch of the Mississippi River - from Fulton, Illinois, to Clarksville, Missouri - as soon as Thursday because of flooding, bringing barge traffic to a halt. The closure could last up to two weeks, corps spokesman Ron Fournier said.

A new storm system headed toward the Ohio Valley from the southern Plains on Monday, dumping 4 inches of rain on parts of Oklahoma, where authorities said wet roads contributed to the deaths of two motorists in separate accidents.

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Two inches of rain fell Monday on already waterlogged Indiana. In Columbus, CBS News' Jay Hermacinski reported that regional hospital crews worked around the clock to pump more than six feet of water out of the hospital (seen at left).

In western Ohio, at least one tornado was reported Monday and a train was blown off its tracks. No injuries were reported.

Some 200 Indiana National Guard members and 140 Marines and sailors joined local emergency agencies Monday in sandbagging a levee of the White River at Elnora, about 100 miles southwest of Indianapolis. The White River was forecast to crest Tuesday at nearby Newberry at 16 feet above flood stage.

By Monday morning, flooding at eight sites in central and southern Indiana had eclipsed levels set in the deluge of March 1913, which had been considered Indiana's greatest flood in modern times, said Scott Morlock, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Indiana.

President Bush late Sunday declared a major disaster in 29 Indiana counties. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said nearly a third of his state's 99 counties need federal help. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle had declared 30 counties in a state of emergency.

While the Midwest struggled with flooding, the East was locked in a sauna. Heat advisories were posted Monday from the Carolinas to Connecticut, with temperatures topping 100 Fahrenheit from Georgia to Virginia

The weekend death toll included six in Michigan, two in Indiana and one each in Iowa and Connecticut.

New York City recorded a high of 99 degrees, but humidity in the area made it feel between 100 and 105 degrees, reported CBS station WCBS-TV, adding that the high temperatures would likely last until midweek.

In the fifth inning of the Kansas City Royals-Yankees game in New York, fans cheered loudly when a cloud moved in front of the sun, then booed moments later when the sun returned.

PJM, the electric power grid for 13 Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia, issued an advisory saying it expected to meet the surging demand for power but urged customers to conserve.

New York City opened 300 cooling centers Monday, said Office of Emergency Management spokesman Chris Gilbride.