Tag Archive: Midwestern United States

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At least 14 dead as storms & ice wreak havoc across US Midwest

© James Glover
Storms in the US Midwest have claimed at least 14 lives as temperatures plunged below freezing point over the holiday weekend. Tens of thousands of homes have been left without electricity, while driving conditions are treacherous due to icy roads.

A wintry storm system that has been moving through parts of the Great Plains and the Midwest since Thursday has brought extremely cold weather to the region. Eight people have lost their lives in Texas, with a further six dying in the state of Kansas.

The icy conditions are also causing havoc for local residents. Some 78,000 people in parts of Oklahoma have been left without power after trees collapsed onto power lines, according to Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.


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Credit DS Pugh / Wikimedia Commons


ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news


Increased drought portends lower future Midwestern U.S. crop yields

May 1, 2014
North Carolina State University
Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the US Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to new research. Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates.

Increasingly harsh drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest’s Corn Belt may take a serious toll on corn and soybean yields over the next half-century, according to research published today in the journal Science.

Corn yields could drop by 15 to 30 percent, according to the paper’s estimates; soybean yield losses would be less severe.

North Carolina State University’s Roderick Rejesus, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics and a co-author of the Science paper, says that corn and soybean yields show increasing sensitivity to drought, with yields struggling in dry conditions in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana during the 1995 to 2012 study period.

“Yield increases are getting smaller in bad conditions,” Rejesus said. “Agronomic and genetic crop improvements over the years help a lot when growing conditions are good, but have little effect when growing conditions are poor, like during droughts.”

U.S. corn and soybeans account for approximately 40 and 35 percent of global production, respectively, making the results important to the world’s food supply.


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BPEarthWatch BPEarthWatch


Published on Dec 27, 2013

Meteor Alert! Large Bolide Meteor Events Expected from 26DEC-12JAN2014
Links http://amsmeteors.org/fireball_event/… http://lunarmeteoritehunters.blogspot…





Security Camera Captures Possible Meteor Thursday Evening


Courtesy the City of North Liberty

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa – People across the Midwest reported seeing a bright fireball streak across the sky Thursday evening … and it was caught on camera in North Liberty.

The fireball, a possible meteor, was spotted at about 5:40 p.m. Thursday. Reports indicated that it was seen across many Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota. 

Watch Video Here


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Weather this weekend? Wet, white and wild

Winter starts Saturday — with everything from snow to tornadoes to record heat.


Winter – which starts Saturday afternoon – will begin on the wild side this weekend across much of the central and eastern U.S., with a crazy potpourri that includes snow, ice, flooding rain, fog, the chance of tornadoes and even some record-setting warmth.

A ferocious storm, which will affect nearly 30 states, will likely lead to travel problems for the millions of people heading out for the Christmas holiday, AccuWeather reports.

The action began Friday, with rain forecast from the southern Plains across the mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys and into southern New England, with freezing rain for parts of the central Plains and snow in the Rockies and Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service. Severe thunderstorms were possible for parts of the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley.

On Saturday, on the cold side of the storm, light freezing rain will spread from the central Plains to the upper Midwest, which will transition over to snow late Saturday into Sunday, meteorologist Chris Dolce of the Weather Channel reported.

Cities such as Kansas City, Des Moines and Milwaukee should all see snow, though most of the significant snow should stay northwest of Chicago, the Weather Channel forecast. AccuWeather reports that some spots could see as much as a foot of snow. Ice storm warnings were issued for Oklahoma, while winter storm watches, advisories, and warnings were in effect from northern Texas to northern Michigan.

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Nation braces for holiday travel misery as snow is forecast for the Midwest, rare winter tornadoes could cause chaos in the South… and storms are heading for the East coast

By Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter


A stew of foul weather, from freezing rain and snow in the Midwest to thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in the South, is arriving just in time for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

More than 94 million Americans are expected to travel over the holiday period, from today until January 1 – just as another round of hazardous weather conditions roll in.

Much of the nation was bracing for something, with freezing rain then snow likely in the northern Plains and downpours expected from St. Louis through Appalachia.

Weekend tornadoes were even a possibility in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. While much of the East awoke Friday to unusually warm weather, the region was next in the storm front’s cross hairs.

Delays possible: Passengers walk inside Terminal 3 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday. A selection of foul weather is arriving just in time for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year

Delays possible: Passengers walk inside Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday. A selection of foul weather is arriving just in time for one of the busiest travel weekends of the year

Cold snap: Apolice officer stops to photograph the cracked ice in the Chicago River on Thursday

Cold snap: A police officer stops to photograph the cracked ice in the Chicago River on Thursday

This has created pre-Christmas travel worries from Chicago and Detroit to Boston and New York.

With more than 85 million people expected to make journeys by car over the festive period, and 5.53 million due to fly, the weather conditions are likely to cause traffic delays.

Freezing rain on Friday morning snarled traffic and forced some school closures in Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said Interstate 90/94 was ice-covered from Tomah and Mauston. The state was bracing for significant snow, sleet and ice.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport was caught out by the winter storms yesterday – its busiest day with 209,000 passengers due to pass through the terminal.

Although many faced delays during the afternoon and evening, holiday spirit was in abundance.

Weekend forecast: Much of the nation was bracing for something, with freezing rain then snow likely in the northern Plains and downpours expected from St. Louis through Appalachia

Weekend forecast: Much of the nation was bracing for something, with freezing rain then snow likely in the northern Plains and downpours expected from St. Louis through Appalachia

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Winter Storm Gemini: Snow and Ice in Midwest and New England

By Chris Dolce Published: Dec 21, 2013, 4:42 PM EST weather.com

Icy Mess for Holiday Traveler

Winter Storm Gemini will continue to impact portions of the Midwest and Northern New England with snow and ice through the busy holiday travel and shopping weekend. Gemini is the seventh named winter storm of the season.

(MORE: Minute-By-Minute Updates | State-By State Impacts)


Current Radar

Below is a breakdown of the forecast details through Sunday for both the Midwest and New England.

Midwest Snow and Ice: Through Sunday


Saturday Night Midwest Forecast



Snowfall Forecast

Moisture riding over the top of a shallow layer of cold air near the surface of the earth has resulted in significant ice accumulations in portions of Oklahoma, southwest and central Missouri and southeast Kansas. Tree damage and power outages have been reported in Oklahoma.

Saturday night into Sunday, the snowy side of Gemini will ramp up as an upper-level system swings out of the Plains and into the Midwest.

This accumulating snow will spread from the Texas Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma through southern and eastern Kansas, northern Missouri, southern and eastern Iowa, northern and western Illinois, Wisconsin and northern Michigan. Some locations in this zone, including Kansas City and Milwaukee, could see 5 inches or more of snow. At this time, it appears the most significant snow will stay northwest of Chicago.

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Andre Heath


Published on Nov 19, 2013

The CELESTIAL Convergence | http://thecelestialconvergence.blogsp…

November 19, 2013 – UNITED STATES – Stunned residents across the Midwest picked through the wreckage of what used to be their homes on Monday after a fierce storm system swept across six states, spawned nearly 60 reported tornadoes and killed at least eight people. From the air, large areas of the devastated city of Washington, Ill., looked like a moonscape as the vastness of the devastation was exposed.

Even large electrical towers made of steel lay on the ground, twisted like pretzels. The storm system tore the steeple off a church 10 minutes after Mass let out and even forced the Chicago Bears to stop their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Jeff Ekena, Principal of John L. Hensey Elementary in Washington said he hunkered down in the basement with his family when the storm came through sounding “like a freight train.” The Ekenas emerged to find “just flatness,” and then the destruction beyond, he said. “Nobody has anything left,” Nancy Rampy, of Washington, Ill., told NBC Chicago. “It’s all gone. It’s just awful.” Guida Scheer, owner of one of the destroyed homes, sifted through the rubble and pulled out a Bible. “It was my boyfriend’s Bible,” she said. “It was actually his dad’s and that was one of the things that he wanted to make sure that we tried to find.”

“I’ve found pieces of my house 100 yards northeast of me,” Scott Gundy, another resident of Washington, where one person died, told TODAY. “I got the most important things out, which were pictures, video of my kids growing up,” he said. “To me that’s the most important thing. Everything else can be replaced.” The mayor of Washington, Gary Manier, said the devastation there was “unbelievable.” He said that 250 to 500 houses were destroyed in Washington, a city of about 15,000 people. The National Weather Service rated the tornado that ripped through the area an EF-4 — a notch down from most intense rating — with wind speeds ranging from 170 to 190 mph. Andrea Bowers said she and her husband and their 3-month-old daughter took shelter in the basement of their Washington home. The couple used their bodies to cover their baby and protect her from falling debris. “Everything just started falling in and we just kind of rode it out and just prayed,” she said. Ryan Bowers said they were all unharmed , and that his wife and daughter even fell sleep during the storm.

Schools were closed in Washington on Monday, and churches and community groups also canceled events as the focus turned to recovery efforts and helping victims. The Red Cross opened a shelter, and mental health experts were on hand. Earlier, people who had left and were trying to come back were turned away by police because of concerns about unstable buildings, and other lurking dangers. “There’s a lot of power lines down a lot of power lines that could still be alive. There’s gas leaks all over the place. So it is still a very dangerous situation,” Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce told NBC station WEEK TV. Later, many of Washington’s residents, including members of the high school football team, went to the destroyed areas to pitch and help those whose homes were destroyed. “Hopefully, we can grow strong as a community together and jet get over it,” said one of the football players, Nathan Barker. The National Weather Service said there were 81 reported tornadoes from the system on Sunday. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties disaster areas. He said that dozens of people were hurt.



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Multiple tornadoes hit three Midwestern states.

The storms struck Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa.

The National Weather Service confirmed six twisters struck the states.

Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska.

A Nebraska newspaper reported several buildings in Wayne’s industrial park were damaged or destroyed along with several homes south of the city.

One tornado hit just blocks from Wayne State College.


Great Plains Storm Brings Snow, Tornadoes

By CHET BROKAW 10/05/13 10:48 AM ET EDT AP

PIERRE, S.D. — PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — In the span of 24 hours, the scenic Black Hills in South Dakota were coated in up to three and a half feet of wet, heavy snow, one of several Great Plains states walloped by a storm system that’s caused millions of dollars in damage.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were recorded in the Black Hills, National Weather Service meteorologist Katie Pojorlie said Saturday morning, but the snow was expected to end later Saturday, giving people a chance to start digging out from the unusual early fall snowstorm that set records.

But wintry weather wasn’t the only thing wrapped into the powerful cold front, as thunderstorms brought heavy rain, hail and tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. No one died in the tornadoes, reports said, but snow was blamed in the deaths of three people who were killed in a traffic accident on U.S. 20 in northeast Nebraska.

Forecasters said the front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild — and probably very wet — weekend for much of the central U.S. and Southeast.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather  –  Drought

Drought-stressed corn grows on a farm near Oregon, Mo., in late August. Drought expanded this week in much of the Midwest, including Missouri.(Photo: Orlin Wagner, AP)

Drought USA State of Minnesota, [Golden Valley region] Damage level Details

Drought in USA on Saturday, 14 September, 2013 at 12:29 (12:29 PM) UTC.

The metro area started the summer with heavy rains wiping out much of the drought. Now because of the lack of rain since, “severe” drought has made its way back to parts of the north metro. “The worst of the drought stretches from the St. Cloud area through the northern Twin Cities metro right down the Mississippi River through Winona,” said climatologist Pete Boulay. Boulay reported the worsening drought outlook Thursday. “They’re about 4 inches short at the airport. If you live in Anoka, Washington, Ramsey Counties you’re about five inches short of normal,” he said. “If you live down in Winona, they’re missing eight inches of rain.” It’s turned lush lawns into crunchy fields. The more brown underneath Frank Rothanburg’s shoes, the less green in his pockets. “There’s no work with all the grass being dead. There ain’t nothing to do,” said Rothanburg. He estimates his Anoka company, Superb Lawn Care, has lost $40,000 over the summer. “We’ve got places we haven’t mowed in three weeks now because they’re just so burnt up,” he said. And it’s not just rain that’s missing. “We’ve only seen maybe between 10 or 12 tornados for the year. And that’s well below normal,” said Boulay. And according to Rothanburg, even watering every other day isn’t helping. He is now hoping “Mother Nature” steps in. “Nothing’s helping. We need rain bad,” said Rothanburg.

Drought worsens in Midwest, South; affects crops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The combination of heat and scarce amounts of rain intensified the drought in several agriculturally significant states, contributing to declining crop conditions in parts of the Midwest and South.

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a separate report Thursday the expected record corn harvest and third-largest soybean crop are on track, since areas that aren’t seeing as severe a drought will produce enough to make up for the driest regions.

Crops in states such as Kentucky and Tennessee look better than they did a month ago, the USDA said, while Iowa and Missouri are suffering from the heat.

‘‘The fringes of the corn belt are producing enough to offset Iowa’s loss,’’ said Chad Hart, agriculture economist at Iowa State University.

This week’s national drought monitor, which tracked conditions from Sept. 3 to Tuesday, shows nearly 50.7 percent of the contiguous United States is now in moderate drought or worse, up from just over 50 percent the week before.

The report said in Iowa, the nation’s largest corn producer, severe drought spread to nearly 42 percent of the state — up from 32 percent a week ago. All but two of the state’s counties, both in east-central Iowa, are experiencing some level of drought or abnormally dry conditions.

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More than half of USA in a drought

Drought is at its largest percentage since April.

Drought covers more than half of the country and is at its largest percentage since early April, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly federal website.

As of Tuesday, 50.7% of the contiguous USA is in a drought.

Hot, dry weather over the past week led to worsening drought in the central USA: In the Midwest, where temperatures have been as much as 10 degrees above normal over the past week, drought expanded in parts of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to the monitor.

For example, since July 1, La Crosse, Wis., has received only 2.4 inches of rain, the driest July 1-Sept. 10 period on record for that location.


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Midwest hot, dry spell brings back drought worries

In this Aug. 28, 2013, photo drought-stressed corn grows on a farm near Oregon, Mo. A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and the impact it may have on crops according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)


Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and its impact on crops.

Temperatures soared to records in recent days in parts of the region, reaching nearly 100 degrees in some areas. The heat wave struck many farm states — from the Dakotas to Wisconsin, down through Missouri — that have seen too little rain this growing season.

“It’s about the worst case scenario we could have with these high temperatures and the lack of water with soil moisture declining,” said Roger Elmore, an agronomy professor at Iowa State University.

A wet, cool spring delayed planting and slowed crop growth — but it also replenished soil moisture in many crop producing states, causing some of last year’s widespread drought to retreat. The rain stopped in July in many of those states, however, and as the soil dried out, the heat set in and stressed corn and soybean crops.

The southeast Iowa city of Burlington, which is surrounded by corn fields, had its wettest spring on record at 19.23 inches of precipitation, nearly 8 inches above normal. Yet it’s now on track to have its driest summer on record, with only 3.86 inches so far, 8.41 inches below normal.

Wayne Humphries farms about 1,000 acres about 45 miles north of Burlington at Columbus Junction. He grows corn and soybeans and raises hogs.

He said he delayed planting by about 30 days because of wet fields and now is watching the lower leaves of cornstalks turn brown from lack of moisture. He hasn’t seen a measurable rain for 30 days.

Soybean plants are suffering too as seeds are developing in the pods.

“I have solace in the fact that we did everything we could and we did it to the best of our ability and now whatever happens, happens,” he said. “It’s sort of a philosophical moment.”

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Expanding U.S. Drought, Excessive Heat Hurt Iowa Corn, Soy Crops

High heat and little rain during the past week led to an unusual, quick expansion of drought conditions in Iowa and Illinois, damaging crops in the biggest U.S. corn- and soybean-growing states.

About 25 percent of Iowa had a moderate drought on Aug. 27, up from 7.9 percent a week earlier, while Illinois jumped to 20 percent from none, the U.S. Drought Monitor said yesterday in a report. Parts of Iowa received less than 25 percent of normal rain during the past 60 days, and much of Illinois got less than half of normal since June 30, data from the High Plains Regional Climate Center show.

After a wet May and June delayed planting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its soybean-crop forecast by 4.8 percent on Aug. 12 and reduced its corn estimate for a third straight month. July was the 20th coldest in 119 years in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, National Weather Service data show. Soybean futures are up 17 percent from an 18-month low on Aug. 7 on forecasts for dry weather, and corn rose 7.5 percent from a 35-month low on Aug. 13.

“The heat and drought are speeding crop development and reducing yield potential daily,” Roger Elmore, an agronomist at Iowa State University in Ames, said in a telephone interview. “We are skipping over critical stages of development that probably can’t recover even if temperatures cool and a little rain falls.”

While the crops need hot weather to develop, temperatures that approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) from Nebraska to Indiana in the past five days can cut corn yields at least 3 percent a day while reducing the number of seeds and seed weight in soybeans, Elmore said.

Yield Loss

Cool weather during the first 19 days of August masked the stress that the dry spell was causing to crops over most of the Midwest, Planalytics Inc. said in a report yesterday. The epicenter of the crop damage is in Iowa, based on the vegetative growth index that the forecaster constructs biweekly from satellite images.

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Holli McPherson, right, and other volunteers help fill sandbags inside a Grand Rapids City maintenance garage on Market Street in Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday, April 19, 2013. She and other WMEAC volunteers were planning to take part in the annual Grand River clean-up but instead helped with flood control. Volunteers plan to work through the weekend in Grand Rapids to fill sandbags as part of an effort to hold off West Michigan floodwaters. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Chris Clark) ALL LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL TV INTERNET OUT

Floodwaters rising after storms deluge heartland


Associated Press

— Flood fighters from small Mississippi River hamlets to the suburbs of Chicago staged a feverish battle Friday to hold back raging rivers, after days of torrential rains soaked much of the Midwest.

Mississippi River communities in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri are expected to see significant flooding – some near-record levels – by the weekend, a sharp contrast to just two months ago when the river was approaching record lows. Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana had flooding, too. All told, dozens of Midwestern rivers were well over their banks after rains that began Wednesday dumped up to 6 inches of new water on already saturated soil.

In Quincy, Ill., the normally slow to swell Mississippi River rose nearly 10 feet in 36 hours, National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said. One bridge in the town about 120 miles north of St. Louis was closed Friday, leaving one open.

“That’s pretty amazing,” Fuchs said of the fast-rising river. “It’s just been skyrocketing.”

Smaller rivers in Illinois seemed to be causing the worst of the flooding. In suburban Chicago, which got up to 7 inches of rain in a 24-hour period ending Thursday, record levels of water were moving through the Des Plaines River past heavily populated western suburbs and into the Illinois River to the south.

As many as 1,500 residents of the northern Illinois city of Marseilles were evacuated Thursday night when fears of a levee breach were heightened as seven barges broke free from a towing vessel and came to rest against a dam on the Illinois River.

And in the central Illinois town of London Mills, the swollen Spoon River topped a levee, forcing about half of the 500 residents to evacuate. Police Chief Scott Keithley said some homes were half under water, and abandoned cars were sent floating in the torrent of water.

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Hundreds fill sandbags as besieged Grand Rapids area prepares for flooding to worsen

(Gallery by Sally Finneran | sfinnera@mlive.com)

By Zane McMillin | zmcmilli@mlive.com
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on April 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM, updated April 21, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Volunteers turn out to fill sandbags Volunteers turn out in force to fill sand bags Sunday, April 20, 2013 in Grand Rapids Mich.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Patty Moyer offloaded a freshly packed sandbag onto a pallet Sunday and stood up panting, sweating under a heavy coat and headband as she worked with roughly 300 volunteers in Grand Rapids.Summoned by city leaders working to minimize impacts of a downtown under siege by a Grand River swelling past its brim, Moyer had been at work for hours with a dozen members of the Forest Hills Crew Team.

The Grand River is expected to crest at multiple locations throughout Greater Grand Rapids on Sunday, particularly downtown and in Comstock Park, where high water forced residents to flee their waterlogged homes in droves.

Photos: Hundreds fill sandbags in downtown Grand Rapids

Such dire predictions prompted city leaders to ask for help filling tens of thousands of sandbags for residents and businesses.

“We were kind of torn because there’s flooding in Ada and Lowell and Grand Rapids,” Moyer said after schlepping a sandbag to a pallet. “One of our (team) board members … heard that we could come down and fill bags, so we jumped on it as quickly as we could.”

At the Grand Rapids Public Works building, 201 Market Ave. SW, the crew team worked amidst what city leaders estimated was 300 volunteers out since 8 a.m. to fill sandbags that will be used to shore up flooded areas along the river. The work will continue all day.

It was the highest turnout so far after three days spent packing 40,000 sandbags that have been dispersed to problem spots throughout the city, including riverside structures downtown such as the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Old Town Riverfront Building ‘holding up pretty well’ against Grand River flood waters


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After days of surging, Grand River finally crests in Grand Rapids, Comstock Park

(Gallery by Cory Morse | cmorse1@mlive.com)

By Zane McMillin | zmcmilli@mlive.com
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on April 21, 2013 at 11:00 PM, updated April 21, 2013 at 11:52 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — After days spent surging to historic levels, the Grand River finally crested Sunday night in downtown Grand Rapids and Comstock Park.

Measurements from the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids show the river peaked at 21.85 feet downtown around 10 p.m., breaking the record of 19.64 feet set in 1985.

In Comstock Park, the river crested at 17.8 feet around the same time, eking past the 65-year-old record of 17.75 feet set in 1948.

The new benchmarks are the culmination of days of waiting for the swollen waterway to hit its peak after a prolonged period of torrential rainfall last week.

Forecasters had expected the bloated river to peak downtown and in Comstock Park around 2 a.m. Monday, but the figures show it is not expected to rise further.


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Jeff Roberson / AP

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, walks away from floodwaters after meeting with members of the Missouri National Guard as they make flood preparations Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Clarksville, Mo.

Heavy river flooding in six Midwestern states that forced evacuations, shut down bridges, swamped homes and caused at least three deaths was at or near crest in some areas Sunday evening.

Rivers surged from the Quad Cities to St. Louis Sunday, with water levels reaching record heights. Hours earlier, National Guardsmen, volunteers, homeowners and jail inmates pitched in with sandbagging to hold back floodwaters that closed roads in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Record flooding swelled in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a crest of over 22 feet expected late Sunday into Monday. The water is expected to peak sometime Monday.

The basements of some homes in the town of Comstock Park, Mich., were already full of water even before the surge Sunday morning, and the new swell forced some residents to leave their houses by boat.

“I’m surrounded by water all the way around my house,” resident Gary Smith told Grand Rapids NBC-affiliate WOOD-TV. “When I step out, I have a porch and then I have one step that’s still visible, and then I step down into at least three feet of water, four feet of water.”


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