More rain for flooded Midwest rivers

Residents in riverside towns from Upper Midwest to Deep South worry

April 24, 2013

A week of heavy rains has caused flooding in numerous Midwestern states during April 2013. A powerful spring cold snap is bringing more rain and snow to the soggy U.S. heartland Wednesday, causing more concern in riverside communities from the upper Midwest to the Deep South.

The Associated Press reported that some areas received up to 7 inches of rain, and some rivers burst their banks.

The residents of Grafton, Illinois, north of St. Louis, will see the worst of the floodwater through Friday as the Mississippi River peaks at more than 11 feet above flood stage, the National Weather Service says. The river has already topped levees in northern Missouri after steady downpours last week in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Illinois governor, Pat Quinn, declared 44 Illinois counties disaster areas Tuesday. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency last week after many areas in the state were stricken by flash flooding.

Residents in North Dakota are bracing for flooding, too, along the Red River in Fargo. The city has begun a three-day push to truck sandbags into low-lying areas.

Four people have died- one in Illinois, one in Missouri and two in Indiana. Thousands have been displaced due to the flooding. The additional precipitation will further delay flooding recovery.

The flooding of the Mississippi River is quite the contrast to the situation just a few months ago, when low water levels were threatening the barge industry.

The cycle of flood-drought-flood that has ravaged the Midwest over the past two years is the type of cycle that climate change is expected to bring to the region, and it could become the new normal.

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