Valley, Neb. (Reuters) – As icy, lethal flood waters by rains and melting snow recede in Nebraska and Iowa, leaving destroyed homes, drowned cattle and swamped farmland, Midwest states downstream were set on Thursday for a relentless surge of the Missouri River.
Flooding from last week's storm has already caused nearly $ 1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killed at least four people with another missing.
"This isn't over," said David Roth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center.
"The river will have several more major crests through next week," he said, not counting the numerous tributaries that feed into the Missouri and down the Midwest and will likely inundate communities into next month.
The waters have already swamped a large swath of Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa along North America's longest river. Midwestern farm states
"We're going to get some moderate rain this weekend over eastern Nebraska, maybe a half inch (1
Joseph, Missouri, 6 a.m. on Friday and a day later in Kansas City, Missouri, 55 miles (90 km) to the south, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"Where the Missouri meets the Mississippi River in St. Charles (Missouri), it has already peaked but is going to crest again early next week, ”meteorologist Roth said.
More than 2,400 homes and businesses have been destroyed or damaged, with 200 miles (320 km) of roads unusable and 11 bridges wiped out, Governor Pete Ricketts said on Wednesday.
Ricketts estimated the floods caused at least $ 439 million in damage to public infrastructure and other assets, and $ 85 million to privately owned assets. He has flood damage to the state's agricultural sector at nearly $ 1 trillion.
Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha , which houses the US Strategic Command, remain heavily flooded but operational, officials said Wednesday.
In Valley, Nebraska, outside Omaha, Pete Smock, 42, worked to clear deep mud surrounding his home and construction business Wednesday in what will be a long cleanup for the region.
“Devastation is everywhere. I see something like this in my lifetime, ”Smock said.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; additional writing and reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; additional reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York, Jarrett Renshaw in Philadelphia, P.J. Huffstutter and Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Andrew Hay in Taos, N.M. and Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles