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Midwestern US Floods Leave One Dead and Destroy Hundreds of Homes

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Tragically, there has been one fatality in South Dakota and hundreds of wrecked homes in Iowa as a result of extreme floods in the upper Midwest of the United States. Both states’ rivers reached record-high levels over the weekend due to up to 18 inches (45 cm) of rainfall in certain locations.

Through Monday, there is still a chance of storms and flooding, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Alerts are in place as tens of millions of Americans suffer through a sweltering heatwave. This week, the heatwave is predicted to move toward the central, southern, and southeast Plains.

Scientists believe that human activity, specifically the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation, is the cause of the rising frequency and intensity of extreme weather occurrences. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that since 1950, heatwaves have increased in frequency and intensity worldwide.

Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds proclaimed a state of emergency over 21 counties on Sunday, calling the floods “catastrophic.” She underlined the extreme and pervasive destruction while reporting that some 250 water rescues had been carried out. Only the rooftops were visible in the nearly totally drowned houses and structures seen on drone footage. Numerous residences sustained damage in Spencer, and vital infrastructure such as a sewage plant was overrun.

A state of emergency was also proclaimed by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who issued a warning that Monday and Tuesday are predicted to see the worst of the flooding. The Rock River was at an all-time high, forcing almost 4,000 people to leave Rock Valley, Iowa. Authorities stated that residents didn’t have access to safe flowing water because flooding contaminated wells. It took helicopter rescue efforts to save the lives of stranded humans and animals.

A protracted heatwave that is impacting other parts of the US and has caused more than 50 million people to be under heat advisory alerts combines with the flooding disaster. In the central Plains, temperatures are predicted to reach about 100°F (37°C), however some places might see relief as a weather system passes east and south. According to the NWS, this early and strong heatwave may be the longest in decades for some areas.

In addition, two people have died and hundreds of homes have been burned in the community of Rudioso due to wildfires that were started by the inclement weather in New Mexico. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered by the FBI for information that results in the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the persons who set the fires.

To add to the devastation of the weekend, a tornado in Wisconsin on Saturday evening destroyed the 130-year-old Apple Grove Lutheran Church in Argyle.

Watch this space for more updates as the situation progresses.

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