Flooding in the U.S. Could Be Worse Than Ever This Spring

The NOAA spring outlook map shows all of Iowa at elevated risk of moderate to major flooding through May

The NOAA spring outlook map shows all of Iowa at elevated risk of moderate to major flooding through May. NOAA

It has swelled after heavy rains and snowmelt earlier this month. Locally, half an inch to 1 inch of rain is possible for the Missouri and MS rivers in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Most of those remaining were driven from their homes in Fremont and Mills counties in southwest Iowa.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said water patrol troopers worked into the night Wednesday, pulling four people from homes and three others from a boat that ran out of gas around the small town of Craig.

Extreme floods have inundated swaths of the Midwest, spilling over levees, submerging homes and businesses, and destroying hundreds of millions of dollars in crops.

NEMA says on its website that current county estimates are of damage to public property of $553 million and private property of $89 million. Nebraska has estimated its losses at $1.5 billion. He promised expedited action on presidential disaster declarations for Iowa and Nebraska.

Swollen rivers have already breached more than a dozen levees in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

The numbers that just begin to quantify the flood damage are devastating. "We need to figure out a way to secure our communities and our farmland and start to fix the agricultural levees and focus on the Corps levees that have been compromised".

The weather service's website shows some locales along the Missouri River in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri are expected to continue to see waters rise for several more days.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said Friday that 120 roads were closed because of flooding, including stretches of Interstate 29 and USA 61.

The outlook is not a day-to-day "forecast", per se, but rather a general expectation of average weather patterns - and this year's outlook takes into account the presence of El Niño, which can influence the weather patterns over the United States, NOAA said.

National Weather Service hydrologist Kevin Low said during a conference call that the Missouri River reached record levels at Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville. The river at Jefferson City is at a little over 25 - feet today (Friday).

"Let me say from my heart", Pence said before taking an aerial tour of the damage, "We mourn for the families of those who lost their lives". "Hopefully in the next 24 hours the waterline starts to recede a little."Officials said they expect levees to contain the debris-laden floodwaters as they head toward Kansas City, Missouri, about 55 miles (88 km) south of St. Joseph, and then other population centers in Kansas and Missouri downstream".

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