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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 »

Pigs Survive Floods, Still Buy the Farm

Iowa cops shoot the porkers as they scramble on levees

(Newser) - They managed to survive torrential rains and swam mightily through rising water, but a clutch of feisty midwestern pigs couldn't dodge a sheriff's bullet. At least a dozen porkers were shot dead this week as they scrambled on Iowa levees. "My gosh, it happens every day," snapped a... 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 »

19 Levees Now Breached

More failures in Ill., Mo., swamp farmland

(Newser) - More levee breaks in Missouri and Illinois today put at 19 the number that have failed along the cresting Mississippi, Reuters reports, further swamping farmland. "They were lower level agricultural levees," said an Army Corps of Engineers spokesman. "We're also watching another seven levees that may overtop... More »

Iowa Flood Tide Turns Noxious

Mix of sewage and chemicals poses danger to residents

(Newser) - Iowa floodwaters have become a toxic mess of sewage, chemicals, diesel, and animal carcasses, the AP reports, pushing some Iowans attempting to salvage possessions to update tetanus shots. "It bothers me, with everything that's in the water," said one resident. "I probably won't keep anything." Meanwhile,... More »

Floods Breach Des Moines Levee

Authorities call for mandatory evacuation of area

(Newser) - Floodwaters breached a levee and a temporary barrier today near a residential neighborhood in Des Moines, forcing authorities to call for a mandatory evacuation of 270 homes, the AP reports. “There’s not anything else we can do,” said a city official. Storms throughout the region have killed... More »

Floodwaters Engulf Iowa's 'Flood-Proof' City

'500-year flood' swamps Cedar Rapids' defenses

(Newser) - The Cedar River has burst its banks and deluged Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Des Moines Register reports. About 9,000 people have been evacuated—including more than 170 from a hospital—and most of the city's downtown is under water. The river is still rising and is expected to crest... More »

Levees Crumbling, Midwest Struggles to Stem Tide

Aging infrastructure is barely coping with severe weather

(Newser) - The worst flooding in 15 years has exposed some serious vulnerabilities in the Midwest's aging infrastructure, the Chicago Tribune reports. Levees, bridges, and dams, some a century old, are barely coping with severe storms—while some are collapsing completely. Dikes and levees broke in several states last week after torrential... More »

Soaked Midwest Braces for More Rain, Snow

Missouri levee holds, but weather disrupts flights, Easter services

(Newser) - Residents of the nation’s heartland are celebrating Easter weekend besieged by floods and snowstorms, which expected to keep hitting Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the AP reports. Forecasters predict up to 12 inches of snow for the Ohio Valley, while other areas remain soaked thanks to a foot of rain... More »

Record Rainfall Soaks Hawaii

Flood alerts have islanders abandoning their homes

(Newser) - A record downpour of 11 inches in 24 hours has damaged dozens of homes and sparked a flash-flood alert in Hawaii, MSNBC reports. No injuries have been reported, but many residents are voluntarily fleeing their homes in Hilo, the state's second-biggest city. "The situation in Hilo is critical and... More »

Katrina Victims Can't Sue Army Corps

Judge sympathizes but says feds have immunity

(Newser) -  A federal judge ruled yesterday that thousands of New Orleans homeowners affected by devastating levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina can't sue the Army Corps of Engineers, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Judge Stanwood Duval called the case "heart-wrenching" but said a 1928 law gives the Corps immunity from... More »

Katrina Victims' Claims Number in the Trillions

New Orleans residents seek damages from Corps of Engineers

(Newser) - New Orleans residents have peppered the Army Corps of Engineers with claims for trillions in damages, USA Today reports, asking for sums higher than the nation’s entire economic output. One claim alone seeks $3 quadrillion. In all, the corps has received more than 489,000 claims, with more still... More »

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