$1.3 billion damage in Nebraska from historic midwest flooding – Meanwhile Missouri towns ordered to evacuate


Even as a Missouri town was ordered to evacuate Wednesday, officials are already beginning to tally up the damage from the historic flooding that has devastated the Midwest, which could be in the billions when all is said and done.

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Historic flooding hits midwest in March 2019.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts told reporters the “preliminary and initial” damage losses from the flooding in the state are estimated to be more than $1.3 billion, including $439 million in infrastructure losses, $85 million in private homes and business losses, $400 million in livestock and $440 million in crop losses.

Ricketts said these initial estimates are included in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to initialize a federal emergency declaration.

Ricketts noted that 2,067 homes were damaged and 341 business were damaged or lost statewide.

In Iowa, farmer Jeff Jorgenson estimates that in Fremont County alone more than a million bushels of corn and nearly half a million bushels of soybeans have been lost in flooded grain bins. For the 28 farmers in the immediate area, that’s a $7 million loss in grain.

The economy in agriculture is not very good right now. It will end some of these folks farming, family legacies, family farms,” Jorgenson told AP. “There will be farmers that will be dealing with so much of a negative they won’t be able to tolerate it.

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says private and public losses from the flooding is currently reported at more than $640 million.

In Glenwood, Iowa, Mayor Ron Kohn said farms west of the city are likely done for the year.

That’s all going to be gone until next year, I’m sure,” he told the Register. “Rice is about all they could grow out there now.

The story is the same in communities along nearly every river in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, a levee breach Wednesday morning triggered evacuations for the town of Craig, Missouri, home to 240 people, KMBC reported. However, residents were permitted to remain in town if they went to city hall to register their names in case they needed to be rescued later.

The tiny town of Lewis and Clark Village, home to about 130 residents, have also left for higher ground as the swollen Missouri River rises.

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence surveyed the region and promised to expedite action on presidential disaster declarations for Iowa, where 41 of the state’s 99 counties are under a state disaster declaration, and Nebraska, where 70 of that state’s 99 counties are also under emergency declarations.

President Trump asked me to be here in Nebraska and here in the region today with a very simple message,” Pence said. “To all the families that have seen their homes flooded, their livestock lost, who have had their lives, their communities upset by these extraordinary floods and severe weather, our message is this: We’re with you.

Meanwhile, rivers continued to rise Wednesday in some locations, continuing the days-long siege of flooding that has inundated thousands of homes, forced countless evacuations, washed out countless bridges and caused levee breaches in at least a dozen locations.

The city of Valley is inundated with floodwaters Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Valley, Nebraska.(Jeff Bundy/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

The extensive flooding that has reached historic levels in 42 locations and killed three people is the result of heavy rain and snowmelt in the region.

Two people from Columbus, Nebraska, died last week: a woman trapped in her home by floodwaters and a farmer attempting a rescue in high water. A Norfolk, Nebraska, man died and two others were injured when they drove around a flood barrier in Fremont County, Iowa, on Friday and were swept away.

Two other men are missing and presumed dead in Nebraska.

Health officials in Missouri are warning that the floodwaters could contain untreated sewage and hazardous chemicals and debris.

It is vital that everyone working near floodwaters realizes the risks that exist,” Randall Williams, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services director, told the Kansas City Star on Monday. “Just as driving in moving or standing water is dangerous, wading in floodwaters or exposure while recovering from a flood can pose health risks.

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[Nema, KansasCity, The Weather Network]

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