Ukraine civilians face new threats in flood disaster

STORY: The flood levels from the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam in Ukraine are expected to reach their peak Wednesday (June 7), but the scale of the devastation across large parts of the region has brought fresh heartbreak in what is still an active war zone.

And it's now threatening a new wave of homelessness, disease, toxic chemical contamination, and even warnings of floating landmines in this ecological disaster.

This is the city of Kherson, which was once occupied by Russian forces before Ukraine's military retook it. It's where a Reuters camera crew found this resident, who is saying her grandmother is trapped on the first floor of a building with her cats and dogs.

She was brought there yesterday thinking it would be safer for her. Alas, it was not.

Elsewhere in the city is Iryna, an animal rescue volunteer.

She says her group has already recovered up to 30 dogs and they're trying to save whatever animals they can. But first need to wait for a boat so they can go out and save more.

Russian state media are reporting that although the water levels may have peaked, the floods are expected to remain for up to 10 days.

The long term damage is another matter.

Ukraine's government says the destruction of the dam, which it blames on Russia, is threatening to leave hundreds of thousands of residents without access to drinking water.

It also says it will turn what was once farmland into swamps and turn other areas into desert.

Russia blames Ukraine for the disaster, and has imposed a state of emergency in the areas that it controls, such as this town Nova Kakhovka, where the destroyed dam is.

Resident Valery Melnik's home is flooded but he says he won't leave. He wants to stay, he says, because the war can't go on forever.