Midwesterners watch, wait for relief from flooding

(CBS News) In the Midwest, a cycle of torrential storms is sending rivers over their banks.

The flooding started last week along the Mississippi, Illinois and Red rivers. It may not be as bad as first feared, but no one is breathing easy yet either.

A levee breach in Lincoln County, Mo., turned Bob's Creek into a raging river. The floodwaters have taken aim at the town's 30 homes.

"You don't really know, but you got to be prepared," one man said.

Flooding has hit parts of nine Midwest states. The Illinois River, in Mason County, reached through front doors and windows.

"You think you're OK 'cause they tell you it's crested and everything, and right away within eight hours overnight here it was in my house up a foot deep in the basement," one resident said.

Elsewhere, Illinois' Wabash River is at its highest level since 1943. Residents in two communities have been told to get out of its way.

"We are dealing with a lot of rain, and these storm systems are tracking over the same areas, producing widespread flooding over the Midwest," said meteorologist Justin Povick from Accuweather.

In North Dakota, it's not rain but melting snow that's threatening to push the Red River over its banks.

All hands were on deck in Fargo to build a levee. The river is expected to crest sometime next week only a couple feet shy of a record set back in 2009.

The rain has provided some relief from the months of bone-dry conditions in the Midwest, but it's too much too fast.

"The unfortunate news is we are anticipating another storm system to roll across the area," said Povick. "The flooding conditions will likely resume."

Residents in the floodplain can only watch and wait.

  • Terrell Brown

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