FORT WORTH, Texas — At least three people have died in fast-moving floodwaters in Texas as freezing rain and flooding pummeled the state and other parts of the central U.S. on Friday, with forecasters warning that the chilling weather would worsen over the holiday weekend.

Forecasters issued flash-flood watches and warnings from northern Texas up to St. Louis, with up to 4 inches of rain reported in some places as the storm system makes a slow trek to the northeast. Freezing rain and strong winds also caused at least two fatal traffic accidents in western Kansas on Thursday.

“There’s a pretty substantial shield of rain extending from parts of Texas across a lot of Oklahoma and into the mid-Mississippi Valley,” said John Hart, a meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

In North Texas, where more than 4 inches of rain fell overnight in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – pushing the annual rainfall total into the record books – three people died after being washed away in the deep, rapid floodwaters.

At least one other person is missing.

A total 55.23 inches of rain has been recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport this year, topping the annual rainfall record of 53.54 inches set in 1991. National Weather Service forecaster Matt Stalley says rain is forecast in the area through Sunday.

Elsewhere, an ice storm warning was in effect for western Oklahoma until noon Saturday, while a winter weather advisory and a flash flood watch were issued for parts of central Oklahoma. The National Weather Service warned of freezing rain and sleet in northern and western Oklahoma Friday, with up to a half inch of ice possible in some areas.

The weather service also issued flood warnings throughout Arkansas, saying much of central and western Arkansas could see 5 to 7 inches of rain through Sunday.