Jan 8, 2016

New Aerial Photographs Show Midwest Flooding Devastation

Grafton, IL
Jersey County, IL
West Alton, MO
Menfro, MO
Willard, IL
Allenville, MO
USA
by
Katherine Bagley
,
Inside Climate News
Dozens of houses are seen here underwater in West Alton, Missouri, a town of 522 people. The community lies at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. (NOAA)
Dozens of houses are seen here underwater in West Alton, Missouri, a town of 522 people. The community lies at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. (NOAA)

Part of what makes the recent Midwest flooding so unusual is the timing. The Mississippi River Valley typically gets most of its rain during the spring and summer when warm, moisture-rich air fuels wet weather. But this year's El Nino, in combination with climate change, increased fall temperatures and precipitation levels. So when 10 inches of rain fell in late December, the region's soils were already saturated and the water had nowhere to go but downstream.