Jul 4, 2019

Midwest racks up as much as $12.5 billion in 2019 weather damage

Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

AccuWeather is predicting as much as $12.5 billion in damages throughout the Midwest after months of flooding has ravaged the region, according the the Wall Street Journal.

Catch up quick: The first half of 2019 is on its way to becoming the wettest on record due to snowmelt and flooding, largely in the Midwest, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The ensuing damage has been extremely costly to Midwestern infrastructure and industries, particularly with agriculture.

  • Officials in Iowa are estimating the first round of flooding alone cost the state $2 billion in losses.
  • Illinois' state transportation department estimates more than 1,000 miles of road will require cleaning.
  • In Nebraska, only 10 of the 21 bridges that had to be closed have reopened, and repairs on the rest may not be finished until fall 2020.

Where it stands: "All but two of the 15 states through which the Missouri and Mississippi rivers flow have received federal disaster declarations for storms and multiple rounds of flooding this spring," the Journal notes.

  • But the repairs will still be timely, and many states will still continue experiencing economic losses while waiting.

Go deeper: June sets temperature records around the globe

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its celebrated Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand after 160 years and winding down operations by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

The big picture: GM also intends to "sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China's Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year," AP reports. "The downsizing is part of a long-running strategy at GM since the Detroit-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009," per Bloomberg.

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy