Losses of up to $1bn expected in Iowa alone, says RMS

Thousands of properties across the Midwest have been impacted from flooding during the last few weeks, following a series of severe storms.

A report by RMS states that the worst affected state is Iowa where approximately three quarters of the state has been affected by flooding. The state governor has estimated damage from the flooding at $750m to $1bn.

As flood waters begin to recede in many locations a nationwide clean-up operation is in progress. As is usually the case with a peril such as flood, the full extent and severity of the damage may be unknown for sometime, as many locations remain inaccessible.

Damage to agriculture is also particularly severe in several states. The destruction of many crops has triggered the share prices of some major agricultural companies to fall in the last week and reports indicate that this year's corn crop has sustained irreparable damage.

The thunderstorms associated with heavy rain have been affecting the Midwest since the end of May. A record amount of rainfall triggered flash flooding over a widespread area of the Midwest and river levels reached record levels in numerous states.

A report by RMS states that while rainfall totals have exceeded 12 inches in many locations, some areas received rainfall accumulations of around 3-4 inches in just a few hours. This heavy rainfall follows a particularly wet winter and thus ground water levels were already high and soils near saturation point.

Record flooding is continuing along many rivers in the affected states.

Although river levels are receding in some areas, there are also many rivers that are still at risk from rising further as more storms/rainfall is expected in the next day or two. Nationwide, the National Weather Service reported 42 river gauges at major flood stage, 47 gauges at moderate flooding and 57 gauges at minor flood stage and 83 gauges at near flood stage as of 8am EDT on Tuesday, 17 June.

In Iowa, many rivers have experienced and remain in major flood stage where the flood stages and historical records have been exceeded. The Cedar River at Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, 17 June had receded to around 20 ft which is around the previous record stage but still 7 ft above the flood stage. The river is expected to continue to recede. In Iowa City the Iowa River crested on Sunday, 15 June at 31.53ft and is gradually receding. On Tuesday morning the river was still in major flood stage at around 30ft. In southeast Iowa where many towns remain at risk of flooding, rivers continue to rise. The Mississippi River at Burlington is expected to crest at 26 ft on June 18 which is above the record stage of 25.1ft and in Keokuk, although the Mississippi is below the record stage as of 17 June, it is expected to rise to 28.4 ft, above record stage by Thursday, 19 June.

In Missouri the Mississippi River is still rising in Canton where it is expected to peak at 27.5ft on Thursday, 19 June - just below the record stage of 27.9 ft. The river is also at major flood stage and still rising at Quincy Lock, Hannibal, Saverton, Clarksville and Hardin.

Several rivers continue to rise in Wisconsin. The Rock River at Newville is at 14.4 ft on June 17 and expected to crest towards the end of the week. Seven other stations in Wisconsin remain in major flood stage.

Flood warnings are in place throughout the Midwest but with drier conditions expected in the next 24 hours and next few days, there is potential for the situation to improve.

Damage to crops is also evident in Nebraska. The Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Service reported the state's corn crop at 65% good or excellent, compared to a 75% rating last year.