'Major and Historic' Flooding in Nebraska, Iowa Causes Deaths, Miles of Land Under Water, How to Help

Flooding that the National Weather Service called "major and historical" claimed the lives of at least two people over the weekend and left miles of land under water across the Midwest. There were at least two people dead and one missing from the flooding across Iowa and Nebraska, The Washington Post reported.

Several factors contributed to the historic and monumental flooding. Not only was there a significant bomb cyclone storm that went through the area last week, warming temperatures led to snowmelt that also caused rivers to swell and overflow.

"The historic flooding was in the making all winter long with a series of heavy snowfalls, culminating in last week's storm that dumped heavy rains onto the expansive snowpack and caused rapid melting. The disaster will continue to unfold in slow motion for days as rivers rise some more and waters flow downstream," Rick Knabb, a hurricane expert at The Weather Channel told Newsweek.

A relatively quiet weather pattern is forecast for the next several days. Historic flooding is ongoing in the Plains, however, so any additional precipitation will, likely, not be welcome. Rain with mountain snow returns to California, and it gets rainy for portions of Florida. pic.twitter.com/2wlZVwoSvU

— National Weather Service (@NWS) March 18, 2019

The flooding was still going on Monday and was expected to continue through the week across the plains where any more precipitation "will, likely, not be welcome," said the NWS. That additional precipitation was unwanted because it had the potential to contribute to the flooding rivers across the areas.

Roads and freeways were flooding and closed Monday following the floods and even light rains were expected to make the situation worse. The weather service was sharing forecasts about when rivers were cresting and when they were expected to recede.

In Nebraska, the Platte River was cresting in several areas. In Leshara it crested at 12.6 feet and in Louisville, it crested at 13.75 feet. The Department of Transportation was providing constant updates about the road conditions as more were cleared.

"Major to historic river flooding is expected to continue across parts of the Missouri and Mississippi River Basins due to rapid snow melt the past few days. Flood warnings and advisories remain in effect, mainly across eastern Nebraska and into parts of Iowa," said the NWS forecast Monday morning.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the flooding on Friday, "The people of Nebraska & across the Midwest, especially the Farmers & Ranchers, are feeling the impacts from severe weather. The first responders & emergency response teams have done a great job dealing w/ record flooding, high winds, & road closures," he said.

As of Monday morning, the president had not declared any federal assistance for the states suffering the impacts of the flooding. There were several agencies that were working to help support those in need. Hundreds had lost homes and their personal possessions due to the flooding and were in need of assistance.

The Salvation Army had already set up a donation center in Omaha on Saturday and the American Red Cross was working on running or opening up 13 shelters across Nebraska and Iowa, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The Salvation Army had a specific part of its website for donations for those impacted by the flooding specifically where people could send money.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau also had its donation and exchange site up and available to those who wanted to donate to the farmers and ranchers who were impacted by the flooding. "Nebraska is a special place with special people. Many of our friends and neighbors across the state are suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost or are missing loved ones, and to all those who have been impacted by the recent blizzard and massive flooding events," Steve Nelson, the farm bureau president, said.

mail boxes under water
Significant flooding hit the Midwest over the weekend following last week's bomb cyclone storm. This photo shows mailboxes sit under water in a flooded neighborhood on February 27, in Forestville, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images