2019 Floods

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A southwest Iowa restaurant damaged by last spring’s flooding is preparing to make a comeback.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Southwest Iowa communities are still struggling to recover from this spring’s flooding.

Kate Payne/IPR

Scientists are urging Davenport officials to factor in climate change as they debate future flood protection plans. Some analysts say this year’s historic flood levels could’ve been much worse.

Katie Peikes / IPR file photo

The mayor of a small western Iowa town that flooded last spring pitched his idea for a future flood control measure during a town hall meeting Thursday.

Kate Payne/IPR file

Eastern Iowa residents will have a chance to weigh in on flooding, drought and navigation on the Mississippi River at public meetings this month. Events are slated for this Saturday in Muscatine and July 27th in Dubuque.

Kate Payne/IPR file

The city of Davenport is taking a deeper look at this year’s historic floods and the city’s handling of them. A task force of residents, business leaders, local officials and scientists met for the first time this week, kick-starting a formal review process.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

People in nine flood-impacted counties across Iowa now have until mid-July to register for federal help to recover from flooding, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday.

Muscatine is one of many Mississippi River towns to see recent flooding. The Upper Mississippi River has been designated among the most endangered rivers in the country, due to unauthorized levee construction.
Kate Payne / IPR file photo

The Mississippi River is continuing to dip below flood stage in Iowa after setting new marks for the longest flood on record in communities from Dubuque to Keokuk. As the water recedes, local leaders are setting to the task of adding up all the damage left behind.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

People in nine Iowa counties hit hardest by flooding from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers have one more week to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get help recovering from this spring’s flooding. 

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Some southwest Iowa communities have started the process of applying for voluntary federal buyouts to demolish flood-damaged homes.

It’s been almost three months since massive flooding from the Missouri River washed over parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, but for many farmers, recovery has been slow. Continued wet weather and lingering high water has delayed planting for many growers who can’t afford to miss out on a good crop this season.

“If you walk across mud, just think about running a tractor and planter across it,” said Scott Olson, who farms corn and soybeans in northeast Nebraska. “You can’t touch it. There’s nothing you can do with it.”

Rural communities are some of the most politically disenfranchised when it comes to climate policy, and last year’s National Climate Change Report showed they’re also among the most at risk when it comes to the effect of climate change. This could mean stronger storms, more intense droughts and earlier freezes.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Early, heavy and, in some areas, nearly relentless rains have led to a late planting season across much of the central United States, especially for corn.

Flooded fields can stymie planting — even if the rain lets up for a couple of days — because the ground is too wet and soft for heavy equipment. Even where farmers were able to plant, heavy rain sometimes required another round of seeds after the first ones were swamped.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Extreme weather, including flooding and tornados, has been topping the news in Iowa and the Midwest. But the number of extreme weather events in the region may be even more numerous than we're able to recall.