Flooding Rivers Imperil the Heartland

Mississippi River projected to peak 11 feet above flood stage

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 24, 2013 9:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Heartland is under water, with today's expected rain and snow adding to the woes of already-flooded parts of the Midwest, CNN reports. Rising river waters have caused four deaths, forced evacuations in Illinois, and are threatening Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Michigan as well. The Mississippi River is expected to peak at more than 11 feet higher than flood stage in Grafton, Ill., this week, and flood watches have been extended for communities along that river's edge as far south as Louisiana. (Things won't get as bad as they did in 2011, however.)

"I've got water coming up through cracks in the floor, so I have about 3,000 gallons an hour of pumps running down the basement keeping water out, and that seems to be keeping it down to about an inch," says one Grafton resident who opted not to evacuate. Other rivers, like the Red River in North Dakota, are also causing problems, and if more rain spurs more snowmelt, things could get uglier. Things already sound pretty miserable for the owner of an Illinois Christmas tree farm, per WQAD. Some 25% of his trees are under water thanks to Rock River flooding; in July, however, 900 trees died due to drought.

This Saturday, April 20, 2013, photo, provided by the Missouri Department of Public Safety shows an overtopped levee north of Clarksville, Mo. and the flood wall protecting the city.   (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Public Safety)
Barbara Adams holds family friend Haley Wright, 4, at right, while being pulled along in a boat by Adams' mother, Julia Dowell, left, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Clarksville, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
This Saturday, April 20, 2013, photo, provided by the Missouri Department of Public Safety shows flooding in LaGrange, Mo.   (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Public Safety)
A restaurant sits surrounded by floodwater Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Louisiana, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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