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National Weather Service issues flood warning for Scott and Clinton counties
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National Weather Service issues flood warning for Scott and Clinton counties

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Wapsi River Center 007

The Wapsipinicon River runs about a mile along the Wapsi River Environmental Education Center in Dixon, Iowa.

The National Weather Service in the Quad-Cities has issued a flood warning until Sunday evening for the Wapsipinicon River near DeWitt, affecting Scott and Clinton counties.

Moderate flooding is forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

March of 2019 was just the start of what will be a years-long struggle to repair and rebuild livelihoods along major Midwest river systems. A massive storm drove river levels higher and higher in mid-March until hundreds of levees across the Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas River basins failed. Then came the record rains.The Army Corps of Engineers estimated damage along the Missouri and Platte Rivers alone caused more than $1 billion in damage. The floods of 2019 punched so many holes in the river levee system, just the initial fixes aren't expected to be finished until late 2021. The Corps is now racing to patch as many holes as quickly as possible, but farmers, homeowners, even entire towns are still vulnerable as the 2021 wet season ramps up.The U.S. levee system is a true mishmash protecting millions of people and trillions of dollars of property and infrastructure near rivers. Much of it was built up following the Great Depression with no one agency charged with maintaining it. Some levees the federal government built, but the vast majority are built and maintained by locals. That makes for a massive range in the quality of levees, all of them expected to hold up for the safety of others.Based on data analysis of the National Levee Database, U.S. levees currently protect 19.5 million people, 5.5 million structures and $2.5 trillion in property value.It's an old, incredibly complex system facing a new reality: It wasn't built for floods like this. Experts agree wet seasons that are becoming more and more severe due to climate change will continuously challenge and damage one of the largest infrastructure systems in the country.

The river was expected to rise above flood stage of 11 feet and crest at 11.8 feet Thursday evening, falling below below flood stage early Sunday morning. As of Tuesday morning, the river was at 10.8 feet.

At 11.5 feet, flooding will affect homes along old U.S. Highway 61. At 12 feet, flooding will affect homes along the river between Wheatland and Calamus and businesses along the river near Calamus, according to the National Weather Service.

Avoid driving through floodwater, as it only takes 12 inches of water for a small sedan or SUV to float, according to the weather service. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Motorists should also avoid driving through large puddles, which could conceal debris and hazards.

More information is available at www.weather.gov/quadcities.

New research suggests weather and rising sea levels could potentially cause $20 billion in flood damage to homes this year.The non profit First Street Foundation said those damages could reach up to $32 billion by 2051. According to the organization as people become more aware of flood risk and insurance cost it will impact home prices. 

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