State of emergency

Record flooding in Plains as seen through before and after photos

Satellite view of flooding at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
Satellite view of flooding at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, HQ of Strategic Command. Image: DigitalGlobe.

A combination of a cold winter, rapid snowmelt due to mild air and heavy rain from a massive "bomb cyclone," and other factors led to some of the worst flooding on record in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is beginning to affect downstream states. The extreme nature of the floods — which have overtaken large parts of Offutt Air Force Base, where America's nuclear forces are coordinated — is best seen from high above.

Why it matters: The floods have wiped out farms, killed an unknown amount of livestock, marooned entire towns and destroyed large infrastructure as rivers have risen, sending surges of water and chunks of ice churning downstream. While waters are receding in many locations in Nebraska, flooding is occurring further southeast into the Mississippi River Valley.

12 Republicans join Democrats against Trump's national emergency

In this illustration, a brick wall divides the Capitol Hill rotunda.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate voted on Thursday to 59-41 to terminate the president’s emergency declaration on what Trump describes as a national security crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, but the final tally fell short of the required 2/3 needed to override a veto.

The state of play: Twelve Republican senators voted against Trump's national emergency. Trump declared the emergency last month to reallocate $3.6 billion towards building a wall on the southern border.