Nebraska Floods Are Visible from Space
Spring flooding is a nearly annual occurrence in the upper Midwest, when warming temperatures and March rains start to melt the winter snow pack. But this year, hurricane-strength winds and early warming due to climate change caused the Missouri river to rise four feet in places, turning half of Nebraska's 93 counties into disaster zones.
The most spectacular flooding resulted from the failure of the 90-year-old Spencer Dam on the Niobrara River in north-central Nebraska when it unleashed an 11-foot wall of water on Thursday. Before the flood gauge on the river failed, “it looked like something incredible was happening that we couldn’t believe,” Jason Lambrecht, a Nebraska-based hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told the Lincoln Journal-Star. “And suddenly, everything went dark.”
Eastern Nebraska is just the worst-hit region: Major flooding is currently underway in parts of seven states in the upper Midwest, with near-record flooding expected to spread northward into Minnesota and North Dakota in the coming weeks. In Minnesota, officials expect a greater than 95 percent chance of major flooding, possibly rivaling all-time records.
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