The “Maya Express”: Floods in the U.S. Midwest

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Abstract

The 2008 floods in the U.S. Midwest culminated in severe river flooding, with many rivers in the region cresting at record levels during May and particularly June. Twenty-four people were killed and more than 140 were injured as a result of the floods. Nine states were affected: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. In Iowa, 83 of the state's 99 counties were declared disaster areas. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was among the cities hardest hit by flooding. At one point, water covered 1300 city blocks across 24 square kilometers, inundating 3900 homes and most of the city's infrastructure and municipal facilities. The flood, which also damaged the Midwest's corn and soybean crops, was presaged by unusually heavy snowpack the preceding winter and by anomalously heavy rainfall during the spring.

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