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Photo: Nebraska National Guard

Melting snow and heavy rain from the "Bomb Cyclone" in the Midwest has caused historic flooding from the Platte and Missouri rivers.

Why it matters: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said it's the worst flooding the state has experienced in 50 years, with at least two flood-related fatalities this week. Dams have failed, levees breached and other infrastructure stripped away as raging floodwaters and chunks of ice move downstream.

The details: The floods have resulted from a series of events including an extremely cold winter that allowed a thick snowpack to pile up. Then the intense storm brought a sudden pulse of heavy rainfall and mild temperatures. The rain fell on impermeable, frozen ground, causing huge amounts of runoff into area rivers and streams that were choked with thick blocks of ice.

Before/after imagery of flooding near Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Image: NASA
Snowmelt seen from satellite on March 11 (left) and March 16 (right), during the period of the "Bomb Cyclone." Images: ESA Sentinel 2 via Simon Gascoin.
Photo: Nebraska National Guard.
Photo: Nebraska National Guard.
Photo: Nebraska National Guard
Photo: Outfutt Air Force Base
Photo: Offutt Air Force Base
Photo: Offutt Air Force Base
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Go deeper

Chauvin defense closing: "Does not have to prove his innocence"

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.