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

Go deeper

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.