Flooding in Davenport, Iowa. Photo: KC McGinnis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Unprecedented flooding is devastating the Midwest with the Mississippi River rising to some of its highest levels since 1993.

What's new: Heavy rain prompted more flash flooding concerns over Wednesday night, as Kansas residents were evacuated from their homes and dozens of Texas children were left stranded at school, AP reports.

The big picture: The flooding is due to rapid snow melt and heavy spring rains. The resulting series of closures has impacted farmers who rely on the river for transporting crops. It's already been a record-breaking flood season and NOAA continues to warn the flood threat could worsen and affect new areas as new waves of rain are forecasted for the Central states. The flooding caused the U.S. Coast Guard to shut down a 5-mile stretch of the river in St. Louis last week, the Washington Post reports.

By the numbers: Last Thursday, the Mississippi River rose to 22.7 feet in Davenport, Iowa — beating the previous record set in 1993.

  • Flooding this year has already caused an estimated $12 billion in damage, reports the Post, citing an estimate from AccuWeather, affecting homes and businesses, drowning livestock and displacing hundreds.
    • In Nebraska alone, the cost of the damage surpassed $1.3 billion in March — including $449 million in damage to infrastructure, $440 million in crop losses and $400 million in cattle loses, NPR reports.
  • At least 4 people have died due to the latest flooding.

The cost of the damage in the Midwest, along with the consequences of Trump's trade war with China, have farmers fearing for their livelihood.

Go deeper: NOAA warns of "unprecedented flood season" across U.S.

Go deeper

Durbin on Barrett confirmation: "We can’t stop the outcome"

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Senate Democrats can “slow” the process of confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “perhaps a matter of hours, maybe days at the most," but that they "can’t stop the outcome."

Why it matters: Durbin confirmed that Democrats have "no procedural silver bullet" to stop Senate Republicans from confirming Barrett before the election, especially with only two GOP senators — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voicing their opposition. Instead, Democrats will likely look to retaliate after the election if they win control of the Senate and White House.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge announced in an op-ed Sunday that he would be voting for Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Ridge, who was also the first secretary of homeland security under George W. Bush, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Former GOP governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge endorses Joe Biden

Tom Ridge. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, will vote for Joe Biden, he announced in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed on Sunday.

Why it matters: Ridge, who also served as the first Secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, said this would be his first time casting a vote for a Democratic candidate for president. He's now the third former Republican governor from a swing state to endorse Biden and reject Trump — joining John Kasich from Ohio and Rick Snyder from Michigan.

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