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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

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
38 mins ago - Health

What overwhelmed hospitals look like

A healthcare professional suits up to enter a COVID-19 patient's room in the ICU at Van Wert County Hospital in Ohio. Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP

Utah doctors are doing what they say is the equivalent of rationing care. Intensive care beds in Minnesota are nearly full. And the country overall continues to break hospitalization records — all as millions of Americans travel to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Why it matters: America's health care workers are exhausted, and the sickest coronavirus patients aren't receiving the kind of care that could make the difference between living and dying.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

Southwest CEO: "You should fly"

The official guidance of the CDC says that "postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  • Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, however, took the opposing position when he was interviewed by "Axios on HBO." "You should fly," he told me, adding that "we need to have as much commerce and business and movement as is safe to do."

Cárdenas: Democrats need to be more "culturally competent" to win

Photo: Paul Morigi via Getty Images

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who's running for chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told "Axios on HBO" that the DCCC needs to change "overnight" and his colleagues need to be more "culturally competent" if they want to be successful in the next election.

Why it matters: House Democrats are confronting what went wrong and what their party needs to change after they failed to expand their House majority and President Trump expanded his support among Latino voters.

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