US weather: Midwest braces for further floods after deadly storms hit Nebraska and Iowa

Tom Parfitt

Heavy flooding could return to the midwest this week with rain predicted to pummel the US region, forecasters warn.

Floods were unleashed last week by a ‘bomb cyclone’ storm, forcing thousands from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, killing at least three.

Although floodwaters have receded in recent days, more damage is possible as spring rains arrive and more snow in northern states melts and flows into rivers.

The National Weather Service predicts that eastern Nebraska and western Iowa could receive up to two inches of rain from Wednesday to Friday.

That much rain would certainly send river levels higher, creating problems for homes behind levees that were weakened in the initial flooding.

“We’re not done yet and I think that’s the other thing that we want to make sure folks are watching very closely,” Iowa’s agriculture secretary Mike Naig said.

Meteorologist Bryon Miller said the good news is that the river crests following this week’s forecast storm will likely be lower than during recent floods.

“It doesn’t look like it will be anywhere near the crests we saw at the height of this,” said Miller.

The Mississippi river is expected to keep rising in the Minnesota capital of St. Paul this week after reaching major flood stage yesterday morning.

About half a dozen roads in the city are closed, as well as several parks and boat launches.

Additional reporting by agencies