“For the second year in a row, much of the U.S. is primed to suffer multi-billion dollar flood losses, with farmers already steeling themselves for planting delays.
Relentless storms that have marched across the Midwest and into the South this winter have already filled rivers to the brim and are threatening to make farm fields too soggy to plant as spring arrives. And there isn’t much to suggest an easing ahead. Heavy rains forecast through next week could push waterways higher where the Mississippi and Ohio meet in Illinois, and into northern Mississippi and Arkansas.
Most states in the American heartland have had two to three times more moisture than normal so far this winter, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. As February ends and the rains of March and April approach, it won’t take much to cause major problems for farmers in the planting season, homeowners and businesses.
“Odds are we won’t have the $20 billion in losses we had last year,” said Jeff Masters, a meteorologist with Scientific American in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “But the odds are we will see multi-billion dollar losses.””