Flood waters surround area businesses near the main breach in the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa on Friday, May 3, 2019. Photo: KC McGinnis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

At least 4 people across the Midwest have died from historic flooding in the region, while heavy rain and flash flood watches go into effect across America's South on Saturday morning.

Why now: These floods are the result of spring snowmelt and a series of storms that have added to the amount of water flowing into the Mississippi River.

The backdrop: Iowa and Illinois have undergone record flooding from the Mississippi River, which has been at major flood stage for over 40 days. Parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas are under a flash flood watches this weekend, as well as parts of the Appalachian region including Charleston, S.C. and up into Maryland and Washington, D.C.

What to watch: Areas near Ontario, Canada continue to respond to flooding that began a week ago. The Ottawa River regulation planning board indicated that water levels are expected to increase or remain the same in most of the Ontario region. In America's Midwest, officials say it could be a month before the water completely clears.

Go deeper: NOAA warns of "unprecedented flood season" across U.S.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 33,484,120 — Total deaths: 1,004,082 — Total recoveries: 23,212,633Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 7,180,179 — Total deaths: 205,729 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

What to watch in tonight's debate

Joe Biden (left) and President Trump (right) are facing off in Cleveland for the first presidential debate. Photos: Alex Wong (of Biden) and David Hume Kennerly (of Trump)/Getty Images

President Trump will try to break Joe Biden's composure by going after his son Hunter and other family members in tonight's first presidential debate — a campaign source tells Axios "nothing will be off the table" — while Biden plans to stick to the economy, coronavirus and new revelations about how Trump avoided paying taxes.

Driving the news: Biden and Trump are set to debate at 9pm ET at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and it will be moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Massive layoffs hit Disney theme parks

A person posing for a photo in front of the iconic Disney castle at Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong on Sept, 25. Photo: Miguel Candela Poblacion/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Disney is laying off 28,000 workers at its theme parks and experiences and consumer products divisions, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to close its California theme parks and limit attendance at re-opened parks elsewhere around the U.S. Around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers are part-time employees, according to Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney's parks, experiences and products division.