Floods hit the American Midwest

Heavy rain in Manchester, Iowa, as storms move through the northern plains.

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    The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings across the Midwest as rivers and streams continue to rise [The Associated Press]
    The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings across the Midwest as rivers and streams continue to rise [The Associated Press]

    Another wet day in Manchester is hardly headline news. After all Manchester is known as "the rainy city" of England. On average, it gets some rain on 152 days each year.

    The Manchester in question is, however, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Iowa in the United States. Days of heavy rain around the Midwest have led to major flooding.

    The city reported 145mm of rain in 12 hours with one unconfirmed report as high as 184mm in the same period. Sandbags have been placed in front of buildings with forced evacuations in several communities.

    There is more rain in the forecast, and the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings across low-lying parts of the state as rivers and streams continue to rise.

    Manchester's Maquoketa River crested at higher than six metres on Saturday, still some way short of the July 2010 record of 7.5 metres. City officials have asked the public to avoid downtown Manchester.

    The floods do actually extend north into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Both states also have dozens of blocked roads. Property has been damaged and residents have been evacuated from their homes.

    Flash flood warnings have been issued across all three states. Rainfall totals have approached 250mm in parts of the region, and heavy rains have led to mudslides in southern Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa.

    The next rain band has already gathered over the Canadian prairies and the Dakotas. It extends across the Great Plains into Texas. The next 24 hours will see heavy and steady downpours move across the Great Lakes towards the Eastern Seaboard.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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