PIEDMONT, Mo. --- Flooding across the country's midsection has forced the closure of scores of roads and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Parts of the region have received as much as a foot of rain.

The National Weather Service posted flood and flash-flood warnings from Texas to Pennsylvania. Moreover, evacuations were in effect in parts of Missouri, Arkansas and Ohio.

The heavy rain began to fall on Monday. In Missouri, four deaths have been linked to the flooding. In Kentucky, five people were killed in a highway collision in heavy rain.

In Piedmont, Mo., an estimated 300 houses and businesses have been flooded. Many people have been rescued by boat, AP reported.

Authorities warned that the Meramec River, located outside St. Louis, is expected to crest 10 to 15 feet above flood stage at some points. Nearby residents have been urged to evacuate. The Missouri River was also at or near flood stage in much of central and eastern Missouri. The James River was approaching record levels too, threatening the town of Galena in the Ozarks.

Flooding was also widespread in Arkansas, where the state transportation department reported that roads were blocked in 16 counties. Two motorists were missing in Arkansas after high water washed away their vehicles.

The Ohio River at Cincinnati was expected to rise about two feet above flood stage by Friday, posing a threat to a number of neighborhoods outside the city, AP reported. Several roads in Cincinnati have been closed.