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Flood Warning Issued in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning Monday for seven Oklahoma counties as a line of thunderstorms dumped heavy rains into creeks and rivers already swollen from several days of storms.

A flash flood warning remained in effect until 4:15 p.m. Monday for Atoka, Bryan and Coal counties in southeastern Oklahoma. Flash flood warnings also were issued Monday for Pottawatomie, Seminole, Pontotoc and Johnston counties.

A flash flood watch remained in effect for several southeast Oklahoma counties until 7 p.m. Monday as thunderstorms dropped as much as 2 inches per hour in some areas, the weather service reported. As much as 4 to 5 inches of rain was possible for some areas.

No major problems were reported, but some Pontotoc County roads were closed Monday because of water coming over the roadway, said emergency dispatcher Kevin Wood.

Between 3 and 6 inches of rain fell early Monday in portions of Pottawatomie and Seminole County between Maud to near Konawa, the NWS reported. The heavy downpour sent the Little River and Salt Creek over their banks near Maud, forcing the closure of a county road north of town and damaging four homes on the town's east side, said Maud Police Chief Pam Hopkins.

Heavy rains and major flooding in north Texas forced the cancellation Monday of the Heartland Flyer's regular route from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth, Texas.

``Amtrak arranged for the passengers to be transported by bus, and we know they will be bussed for the return route this evening as well,'' said Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Brenda Perry.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which owns the rail line, will determine when the passenger train can resume service, Perry said.

Perry said flooding also resulted in the closure of state Highway 78 just south of Milburn in Johnston County.

Thunderstorms have rumbled across Oklahoma for several days as a slow moving upper-level storm system pushed across the state. The system is pushing out of the state to the northeast, but more thunderstorms were expected as a cold front pushes into the state, said Ty Judd, a weather service meteorologist based in Norman.

``There's a cold front that will push down toward northern and western Oklahoma this afternoon, so we do have additional chances for more thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening,'' Judd said Monday. ``There will be additional chances for flooding in some areas, in addition to a threat of hail and high winds.''
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