Quantcast

Two Dead, Hundreds Evacuated as ‘Historic’ Flooding Swamps Midwest

Climate
Flooding at the Platte River south of Fremont, Nebraska. Gov. Pete Ricketts

Flooding caused by last week's bomb cyclone storm has broken records in 17 places across the state of Nebraska, CNN reported Sunday. Around nine million people in 14 states along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers were under a flood watch, CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis said.


Communities in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa were the most severely impacted, AccuWeather reported. Two Nebraskan residents have died, two are missing and hundreds have been forced to evacuate.

"Nebraska has experienced historic flooding and extreme weather in nearly every region of the state," Nebraska Republican Governor Pete Ricketts tweeted Friday.


The flooding is the result of a bomb cyclone that brought hurricane-force winds, blizzards and heavy rain to the central U.S. last week. This caused rivers to overflow, especially as the ground was frozen, causing all of the excess water and snowmelt to flow into waterways, Brian Barjenbruch of Omaha's National Weather Service told The Washington Post.

"It is some of the worst flooding that we've seen in many years," Barjenbruch said. "In some locations it's the worst flooding on record on many of these river gauges."

The governors of Nebraska, Wisconsin and South Dakota have all declared emergencies, while Iowa's governor has issued several disaster proclamations.

The bomb cyclone that caused the flooding was due to warm, wet air from the Gulf of Mexico colliding with cold Northern air, and Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann told the Huffington Post that climate change is making the conditions that cause these storms more likely.

"Despite the antics of climate change-denying politicians ... the increased snowfall amounts associated with record-strength Nor'easters (and 'bomb cyclones') is symptomatic of, rather than evidence against, human-caused planetary warming," he wrote in an email.

One of those killed was a Nebraska farmer named James Wilke, who died trying to rescue stranded drivers in his tractor when a bridge collapsed, The Washington Post reported.

Nebraskan Aleido Rojas Galan died Friday in floodwaters in Iowa. More than 650 people in Nebraska have had to flee to shelters.

Most of the records broken by flooding were along the Missouri river, where waters crested one to four feet above previous records in different locations throughout Nebraska, CNN reported.

More rain is expected in the area Tuesday, AccuWeather reported, which could make the situation worse.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Juvenile hatchery salmon flushed from a tanker truck in San Francisco Bay, California. Ben Moon

That salmon sitting in your neighborhood grocery store's fish counter won't look the same to you after watching Artifishal, a new film from Patagonia.

Read More Show Less
Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD

Coconut meat is the white flesh inside a coconut.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images

By Taylor Jones, RD

Oats are a highly nutritious grain with many health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.

Read More Show Less
Alexander Spatari / Moment / Getty Images

It seems like every day a new diet is declared the healthiest — paleo, ketogenic, Atkins, to name a few — while government agencies regularly release their own recommended dietary guidelines. But there may not be an ideal one-size-fits-all diet, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Logging shown as part of a thinning and restoration effort in the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon on Oct. 22, 2014. Oregon Department of Forestry / CC BY 2.0

The U.S Forest Service unveiled a new plan to skirt a major environmental law that requires extensive review for new logging, road building, and mining projects on its nearly 200 million acres of public land. The proposal set off alarm bells for environmental groups, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.

Read More Show Less
Homes in Washington, DC's Brookland neighborhood were condemned to clear room for a highway in the 1960s. The community fought back. Brig Cabe / DC Public Library

By Teju Adisa-Farrar & Raul Garcia

In the summer of 1969 a banner hung over a set of condemned homes in what was then the predominantly black and brown Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC. It read, "White man's roads through black men's homes."

Earlier in the year, the District attempted to condemn the houses to make space for a proposed freeway. The plans proposed a 10-lane freeway, a behemoth of a project that would divide the nation's capital end-to-end and sever iconic Black neighborhoods like Shaw and the U Street Corridor from the rest of the city.

Read More Show Less