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Devastating flooding hits already struggling Midwest farmers

Flooding hits already struggling farmers hard
Devastating flooding coming at worst time for Midwest farmers 02:39

Vice President Mike Pence will visit Nebraska Tuesday to survey the damage caused by historic flooding responsible for killing at least three people. The Midwest is bracing for more flooding as rivers in 40 locations have risen to historic levels.

Flood watches and warnings are in effect in more than a dozen states and more rain is on the way. More than 70 cities in Nebraska have issued emergency declarations over what is the worst flooding the state has seen in at least 50 years.

The total damage is already in the hundreds of millions of dollars and is expected to climb as the flood threat remains. The views from the sky over the flooded Midwest reveal miles and miles of devastation. CBS News' DeMarco Morgan took a plane to Fremont, a town of 26,000 that is nearly isolated by the water. Volunteers with planes are helping fly in supplies.

"Fremont's landlocked and you know, they're running out of food … So I was just more than happy to help," one volunteer said.

While on the ground, a convoy led by the Nebraska National Guard delivered aid along restricted routes.

"I think it's good to see the community come together … bringing supplies in from Omaha and other towns," one mother said. "Everyone's helping out."

Since Sunday, more than 4,400 people have been evacuated from their homes in at least four states and rising rivers have breached nearly 200 miles of levees. 

The devastation could not come at a worse time for farmers. Chapter 12 bankruptcies were up nearly 20 percent last year among Midwest farms and it's estimated more than $400 million worth of livestock could be impacted by the flooding.

"We just had to a short time to get essentials and dogs and us out the door but the important stuff we got and the rest will have to be replaced," Hamburg resident Peg Wilson said

Many who were able to return to their homes Monday discovered they've lost everything.

"I'm just kind of in a fog, I really don't know what we are going to do but all you can do is pull up your boot straps and start over I guess," said flood victim Gerald Simpson.

The National Weather Service says historic and catastrophic flooding will continue across portions of the central plains and upper Midwest for the rest of the week as heavy rains and more snowmelt is expected.

In North Dakota, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney is asking residents to help fill one million sandbags as the city prepares for major Red River flooding.

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