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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Iowa has already experienced record-breaking floods this year. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The U.S. is likely to see "historic, widespread flooding" through May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's spring outlook.

What they're saying: "The extensive flooding we've seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream. This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities," writes Ed Clark, the director of NOAA's National Water Center.

The big picture: The Midwest has already seen record-breaking flooding due to rapid snow melts and heavy spring rains. And with more rain and snowmelt on the way as the seasons turn, NOAA warns that "the flood threat will become worse and geographically more widespread."

  • Across the Plains, major rivers, like the Missouri and Platte, are hitting levels that are historically unprecedented, and the old records are being exceeded by several feet, which is an unusually high margin for such milestones.
  • Axios science editor Andrew Freedman notes that the current batch of flooding across the Midwest is already a billion-dollar disaster, according to insurance experts.
  • Farmers in the region are fearing for their livelihoods after because the ongoing disaster could cause a $400 million hit to the state's livestock sector as they are cut off from their cattle herds — and the supplies necessary to care for them.

Go deeper: Record flooding in Plains as seen through before and after photos

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

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