The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is warning that record flooding that has repeatedly soaked the middle of the U.S. this year is not over. In fact, it could get worse.
Many rivers have already overrun their banks, some to record levels, and because the soil is saturated, any additional rain will only fill those swollen rivers more. Further, the intense recent rainfall on the Plains wasn't the beginning of the problem; heavy snowfall in the mountains, which continued late into the season, means that more snowmelt is surging into those same rivers.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-normal rainfall for the next two weeks across a wide swath of the region, and for as much as the next three months.
"The sponge is fully saturated there is nowhere for any additional water to go," said Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service. "While unusual for this time of year, all signs point to the flood threat continuing through summer."
By the time this wet season is over, the damages could exceed the $25 billion sustained in the Great Flood of 1993, which the National Weather Service has called "the most costly and devastating flood to ravage the U.S. in modern history."
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