Historic flooding, especially in Nebraska, has led to dangerously high water and rivers across several Midwestern states, hitting record-high levels in many areas. At least two deaths were blamed on flooding, and two other men have been missing for days.
(Pictured) An onlooker checks out a bridge that washed out during a recent flood near Waterloo, Neb., on March 18.
Joey Peeler, left, helps his friend Kathy Drummond remove items from her flooded home on March 20, in Hamburg, Iowa.
Nebraska and Iowa flooding: Before and after satellite images show rivers swallowing towns
Satellite images show just how high the water has risen along the Platte and Missouri Rivers, including half a US Air Force Base under water. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle)
}); Upstream from Scribner, Nebraska, on the Elkhorn River, a flood gauge measured its second highest crest: 17.65 feet. The flood gauge just downstream from the town stopped reporting on Wednesday when minor flooding was taking place; it could have been affected by ice floes.
A home sits in flood water on March 20, in Hamburg, Iowa.
25 States Are at Risk of Serious Flooding This Spring, U.S. Forecast Says
Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. Vast areas of the United States are at risk of flooding this spring, even as Nebraska and other Midwestern states are already reeling from record-breaking late-winter floods, federal scientists said on Thursday. Nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states will have an elevated risk of some flooding from now until May, and 25 states could experience “major or moderate flooding,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The flooding this year could be worse than anything we’ve seen in recent years, even worse than the historic floods of 1993 and 2011,” said Mary C.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters upon arriving to Omaha, Neb., on March 19 to view the extent of recent flooding and to offer support, with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, left, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, second left.
Surveyors with the USGS take measurement of the Missouri River in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, March 16, as the river overflows it's banks. Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate along eastern Nebraska rivers as a massive late-winter storm has pushed streams and rivers out of their banks throughout the Midwest.
Cows ready for calving stand in a pen on land isolated by the swollen waters of the North Fork of the Elkhorn River, on Macrh 15 in Norfolk, Neb., Heavy rain falling atop deeply frozen ground has prompted evacuations along swollen rivers in Wisconsin, Nebraska and other Midwestern states. Thousands of people have been urged to evacuate along eastern Nebraska rivers as a massive late-winter storm has pushed streams and rivers out of their banks throughout the Midwest.
Jim Freeman, right, and his son Chad, work to clear thick ice slabs from his property on March 14 in Fremont, Neb. After the ice-covered Platte River flooded it's banks. Evacuations forced by flooding have occurred in several eastern Nebraska communities.
Backflow waters flood farmlands near Rolling Fork, Miss., on March 11.
Slideshow by photo services
A week after it began, major flooding continues to impact millions of people in states including Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
The ongoing crisis began on Thursday, March 14, when the 90-year-old Spencer Dam broke in Nebraska, northwest of Sioux City, Iowa and Omaha. The dam rupture unleashed an 11-foot wall of water into the Niobrara River, a major tributary feeding the Missouri River. The dam was functional but under incredible strain, as are many other waterway system components in the region, due to the so-called bomb cyclone, a winter storm that dumped snow on Central and Northern Plains and Upper Midwest states in mid-March.
At least four people from Iowa and Nebraska are dead, and at least one person is missing in Nebraska.
The flooding is also particularly devastating to farmers in the region during a time of increased volatility due to President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade dispute with China, which have resulted in agricultural tariffs on corn, soybeans, and wheat. By the end of February, the U.S.-China trade war had already cost more than $40 billion in lost U.S. exports.
The numbers that just begin to quantify the flood damage are devastating. According to Reuters, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts put early estimates at $400 million in losses for the state’s cow-calf industry and another $440 million in crop losses. In Iowa, 100,000 acres of farmland are underwater, and the damage to agricultural buildings and machinery already totals $150 million.
As many will recall, the Missouri River flooded in 2011, and this latest 2019 flood has been far more widespread. The U.S. Geological Survey overlaid the two to show the scale of the current destruction to areas in and around Omaha.
The Missouri River saw heavy flooding in 2011, but the recent flood event has been more widespread.
Follow the link for more #MissouriRiverFlood images:https://t.co/IKmw2PvwRq#Landsat#Flooding2019pic.twitter.com/sNQWVr2Ejv
— Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (@USGS_EROS) March 20, 2019
By Wednesday, more than three-quarters of Nebraska counties were under a state of emergency, and Anheuser-Busch pledged to send 100,000 cans of water to impacted communities. And on Thursday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency statewide as rising waters from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers continued to threaten communities across The Show-Me State. With the Mississippi also threatening to rise in Southern states, Arkansas and Louisiana are bracing for possible disaster as well.
.@SenSasse and I joined @NENationalGuard to get an aerial view of flooding impact as we traveled to thank volunteers in Fremont, address a community meeting in Niobrara, and receive a briefing in Lynch. More here: https://t.co/78cd5jkTOG#NebraskaFlood | #NebraskaStrongpic.twitter.com/h32kyx0NE4
— Gov. Pete Ricketts (@GovRicketts) March 16, 2019
The devastating flooding across Midwestern states is likely a sign of more to come nationwide. On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its 2019 Spring Outlook and predicted historic, widespread flooding will continue through the month of May.
Our #SpringOutlook 2019 is out today: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May. Find map, highlights video & more at https://t.co/nZD8blV1LP@NWS#Spring#Floodingpic.twitter.com/0maghUkrBM
— NOAA (@NOAA) March 21, 2019
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