Midwest floods

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Flooding Rivers Imperil the Heartland

Mississippi River projected to peak 11 feet above flood stage

(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... More »

Bachmann Slams Funds to Black Farmers

Money should go to flood victims instead, candidate says

(Newser) - Michele Bachmann says money being used to compensate black farmers who charged the federal government with grant and loan discrimination would be better spent helping US flood victims. The candidate, after touring flooded areas along the Missouri River with Republican Rep. Steve King yesterday, pointed to the multi-billion-dollar Pigford settlement... More »

Missouri River Threatens to Flood Iowa Town

Rising waters have already led to floods in other areas

(Newser) - The Midwest continues to struggle with flooding, as a small Iowa town evacuated today to escape the rising waters of the Missouri River. The Army Corps of Engineers is building an emergency levee to hold back the waters, which are expected to reach record levels in the next few weeks... More »

Disaster Slowly Flowing Down the Mississippi River

Disaster areas declared as Big Muddy reaches record levels

(Newser) - A slow-moving disaster is making its way down the Mississippi River. Authorities fear that floodwaters will exceed records set during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, one of the greatest natural disasters in American history. Tributaries that flow into the Mississippi are already backing up, and disaster areas have been... More »

Corps Blasts Through Missouri Levee

US Supreme Court rejects Missouri's request to halt operation

(Newser) - The Army Corps of Engineers lit up the Missouri skyline last night, blowing a two-mile gap in a levee, and activating a 1920s flood plan that has not been used since 1937. The explosions along the levee near drenched Cairo caused water to gush over prime farmland, the Wall Street ... More »

Poor Midwest: When Snow Melts, Brace for Floods

Forecasters see bad things ahead in the spring

(Newser) - The Midwest, pummeled by snow this winter, is expected to get a nasty follow-up in the spring: major flooding. Again. Weather experts say the winter has left a "thick snowpack in much of the upper Midwest," leading them to expect serious flooding when it melts, reports USA Today... More »

More Levees Doomed: Fargo Mayor

(Newser) - The bloated Red River briefly breached a dike early today, pouring water into a school campus in Fargo, ND. The mayor called it a "wakeup call" for a city that needs to be vigilant for weaknesses in levees that could give way at any time. "The campus is... More »

Floods Cloud Biofuel Future

Ruined Midwest crops spark worries about fuel supplies

(Newser) - The floods that swamped the corn belt last month have raised fresh fears about the future of biofuels, the New York Times reports. The ruined corn crop has sent the price of ethanol soaring, and experts worry that unpredictable weather could lead to future spikes in the price of energy... More »

After the Deluge: Tallying Massive Costs

Food prices may rise for years to come

(Newser) - Floods that ravaged the Midwest have begun to subside—but  the massive costs of weeks of rising water have only begun to be counted. The floods killed 24 people, left 38,000 homeless and destroyed billions of dollars of crops. The losses are likely to trigger food shortages and push... More »

What to Do With the Sandbags?

Less adrenaline, more toil ahead for Midwesterners

(Newser) - Sandbags were saviors for many in the Midwest flooding—but as the waters recede, the hefty lumps remain, often weighed down by all the toxins in the water, the Washington Post reports. Bags can weigh 60-80 pounds even when dry, so heaving one after another to the curb for pickup... More »

Ragtag Levees Leave Midwest Soaking

Locals and towns run disorganized barrier system

(Newser) - As the Midwest battles massive flooding, the New York Times looks at the region's patchwork of homemade levees—which fail to meet federal standards and tend to spring unexpected leaks. Bill Clinton's White House advised a uniform levy system 15 years ago, but the report was read and forgotten. “... More »

A Sandbagger Reflects

Iowa man remembers a day at the levee

(Newser) - Even when it proves futile, sandbagging is an experience with its own unique rewards, writes an Iowa resident in the New York Times. “Passing sandbags is a personal thing,” Joe Blair notes in an essay. “The line may be 300 feet long,” but for you, “... More »

Floods Ruin Midwest Economy

Food prices repercussions will be felt around the state

(Newser) - The floods ravaging the Midwest are taking a catastrophic toll on the region's farmers, and consumers across the country will feel the pinch in higher food prices, MSNBC reports. Even if waters recede quickly, farmers will lose a sizable chunk of the season—they need about 120 growing days—and... More »

Bush Tours Flood-Damaged Iowa

(Newser) - With the painful lessons of Hurricane Katrina still in mind, President Bush today opened an inspection tour of Midwest flooding that has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes across six states. First stops were Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, which has endured its worst flooding ever. The president... More »

Floods May be Linked to Development

Environmentalists, scientists say continued building makes rising waters worse

(Newser) - Major development along the Mississippi since the last big flood in 1993 may have exacerbated the current crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports. Nearly 30,000 homes have been built around St. Louis on land that was underwater then, forcing the river into a channel half the size it was... More »

Bush to Visit Flood-Battered Midwest

Political pressure mounts for major flood relief

(Newser) - President Bush will visit flood-hit Iowa today to inspect the damage and consult with officials, Reuters reports. The state, along with much of the Midwest, has suffered the worst flooding in at least 15 years. Millions of acres of farmland have been flooded. Pressure on politicians to provide relief is... More »

Party Leaders in House Reach Deal on War Funds

Bipartisan agreement allocates $163B for Iraq, Afghanistan through early 2009

(Newser) - A two-year fight between the White House and Democrats over war funding has been resolved, the New York Times reports. House leaders reached a deal to allocate $163 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through early next year. The measure, expected to be approved by the full House... More »

Midwest Floods May Seep Into Gas Prices

Decimated corn crop will likely boost refiners' ethanol costs

(Newser) - Gas prices could be going up even more as Midwest floods put acres of corn underwater, causing its price—and that of ethanol—to spike, the Wall Street Journal reports. Relatively low ethanol prices have helped keep gasoline in check, but ethanol refiners paying more for corn could be forced... More »

Food Prices Rising Along With Floodwaters

Thousands more of acres of farmland go under water today

(Newser) - Rising floodwaters in the Midwest spread over thousands more acres of farmland today, leading to record or near-record prices for corn, soybeans, and cattle and hog futures, Reuters reports. President Bush promised quick federal aid and will visit Iowa on Thursday. That's not enough for Sen. Robert Byrd of West... More »

Red Cross Disaster Fund Is Broke

As economy wreaks havoc with donations, relief agency down 'to zero'

(Newser) - The American Red Cross, reeling from dealing with catastrophic floods in the Midwest, is facing its own disaster as it runs out of money to pay for relief aid. The charity has raised just $3.2 million to pay for shelters, food, and other costs—a fraction of the $40... More »

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