Read the full story from the Associated Press.
Floods in the Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas river basins caused $20 billion in damage in 2019, the second-wettest year on record. The National Weather Service forecast moderate to severe problems in 23 states this spring but said last week the risk had declined because of below-normal rainfall in the past two months. Longer term, one government assessment predicts annual flood damage in the Midwest growing by $500 million by 2050.
But the floodplain awaiting this year’s surge is part of a changing picture, altered from just a few decades ago. It is now dotted with more parks, marshes and forests on land surrendered in recent years by communities and individuals. Some experts envision this expanding green patchwork as a promising model for relieving pressure on a river system that can no longer stay in its man-made channels.