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Most people start to think of potential flooding around hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Hurricanes tend to form later in the year, generally in late summer or early fall. What is generally overlooked is the devastation and flooding that occurs in the spring. The combination of melting snow and rain can wreak havoc on buildings near, or even not terribly near, rivers and streams.

Currently, several states in the Midwest are experiencing such flooding. Nebraska, Wisconsin, Mississippi and South Dakota have all declared states of emergency, and Iowa has issued a disaster proclamation. Homeowners, farmers, the National Weather Service Offices and even the Offutt Air Force Base have all experienced flooding in the past few weeks. One-third of the air force base was underwater as of March 17. This flood was unexpectedly a historically devastating flood, due to a combination of circumstances. Early on in the season, the ground became saturated with water from rains in the fall; that groundwater froze as winter hit and brought with it severe freezing temperatures, and snow accumulation. Recent rainfall melted the snow; however, the ground was still frozen and unable to absorb the extra moisture. The water then had to run off, causing streams and rivers to overflow, which in turn caused homes, farms, and businesses to flood. Over the next few weeks and into the month of April, warming temperatures will cause more snow to melt, raising water levels in already flooded areas even more, and sending water into areas farther downstream.

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