The NOAA Just Released an Ominous Map That Shows ‘Unprecedented’ Flooding Across the US That Might Affect ‘More Than 200 Million’ Americans

“This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center, in a press release. That represents about 60 percent of all Americans.

Across the Midwest, the recent floods have already caused an estimated $3 billion in damages— a total that will surely rise. Extremely heavy snowfall in the upper Midwest this winter, combined with a forecast for a wetter-than-normal spring, set the stage for this calamity. With the exception of Florida and New England, soil moisture in much of the eastern United States is above the 99th percentile — literally off the charts. When the ground is this saturated, there’s nowhere for water to go but into streams and rivers, taking precious topsoil with it and carving lasting changes into the land.

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