US officials warn of active flood season as Midwest under water
( dpa ) - US weather officials warned Thursday that serious flooding across the Midwestern United States was a sign of things to come.
The government's National Weather Service said it was predicting above-average flood conditions this spring season, based on data from melting snow packs and record rainfall that has already struck some parts of the country.
Media reports said 13 people had been killed across the Midwest United States over two days as heavy rainfall prompted rivers and waterways to burst their banks, putting houses and cars under water and forcing residents to evacuate.
US President George W Bush declared a major disaster area Wednesday night in Missouri, opening up federal aid resources. Other affected states included Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder said seven people had died in the state as of Thursday. About 100 people were being recued by boats after being stranded by a levee break, he said.
"I've not seen such a devastating flood event over such a wide spread of Missouri in many many years," Kinder told broadcaster CNN. "We're still in a world of hurt."
The National Weather Service, a division of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, said future floods were likely in the Midwest as well as in much of the east coast and parts of the west.
"We expect rains and melting snow to bring more flooding this spring," Vickie Nadolski, deputy director of the National Weather Service said in a statement. "Americans should be on high alert to flood conditions in your communities."