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Weary Of The Floods

Flood-weary residents of the Midwest are bracing for another round of high-water. The Mississippi River is cresting for a second time today in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It had fallen to 15 feet there, down from a crest of 16.5 feet, and is expected to go back up to 15.7 feet.

Thirty miles upriver, Fountain City remained under water. It has been submerged for weeks and the police chief there police chief there says people are "just tired of it."

The second crest is getting under the skin of several communities as well, among them St. Paul, where the second crest is forecast to arrive Tuesday, again with no major damage.

In Davenport Iowa, a city made famous last week for a high-profile tussle with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Joe Allbaugh. City leaders there are meeting to consider building a permanent flood wall.

The National Weather Service said Saturday that only a slight second rise is expected in Iowa and then only in the northern areas, around Dubuque.


Click here for a photo essay about the Midwest flooding.

Preliminary damage estimates from six of the 10 Iowa counties affected by the flood had exceeded $4.7 million, according to the state Emergency Management Division. It said at least 40 homes had been destroyed and 1,516 damaged.

In Minnesota, $26.8 million in flood damage has been reported so far to public infrastructure, said Kevin Leuer, director of the Minnesota Division of Emergency Management. But that's only from 35 of the 67 counties and three tribal governments that have had flooding, and no figures have been compiled yet for private property.

For officials in many river towns, the question now is how much federal aid the government is willing to send. Allbaugh didn't have an immediate answer during his short tour of the region last week.

Damage in Illinois has also been relatively minor due to federally funded buyouts of more than 3,000 homes in the flood plains since 1993, said Mike Chamness, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

In the past two years, he said, Illinois has dropped from among the top 10 states to 17th in terms of repetitive flooding.

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