LINCOLN — Bad news: Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be a soggy few days in Central Illinois.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a chance of thunderstorms Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The most severe weather being predicted will be on Saturday into Sunday, with showers and thunderstorms likely after 1 a.m. Off-and-on showers are possible the rest of the weekend.
A Hazardous Weather Outlook was issued Friday for the possibility of severe storms in the evening north of Interstate 72. A Tornado Watch also was issued for Central Illinois through 6 p.m.
The rainy period caps a period of severe storms. Heavy winds and four tornadoes were reported in Sangamon, Logan and other counties on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Widespread tree, power pole and power line damage was observed, and numerous outbuildings were damaged or destroyed," the weather service said.
Damage from the same storm was reported in the St. Louis region. Flooding also continues on the Illinois River.
Elsewhere in the U.S., major flooding along the Arkansas River will threaten communities from Tulsa into western Arkansas through at least the holiday weekend, officials said Friday, as water released from an Oklahoma dam combines with additional rain in the forecast.
The concerns follow days of severe storms that exacerbated spring flooding throughout the Midwest, spawned dozens of tornadoes and are blamed for at least seven deaths.
On Friday, floodwaters from the Missouri River topped a levee at Jefferson City and shut down some streets around the state Capitol as residents worked to clean up from one of the twisters, which cut a 3-mile-long path through the city earlier this week.
Jefferson City's airport already had been evacuated, but other residents and workers drove precariously through flooded roads to escape the rising waters. The Capitol building sits on a bluff on the south side of the river and is not in danger of flooding.
The tornado had also damaged the Missouri headquarters for the Special Olympics, prompting the organization Friday to cancel its summer games.