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The Mississippi River Has Been Flooding For More Than 40 Days

The upper Mississippi was inundated with massive amounts of rain earlier this week, exacerbating the already high river level.

By Merrit Kennedy

The Mississippi River has been at major flood stage for 41 days and counting, and this week a temporary wall failed, sending water rushing into several blocks of downtown Davenport, Iowa.

In that same area — the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois — the river crested at a new record height. The National Weather Service says a new record appears to have been set at Rock Island, Ill.

The previous area record was set during the Great Flood of 1993 — and as NPR's Rebecca Hersher has reported, that flood caused some $15 billion in damage.

Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch says the city had placed temporary barriers to protect against rising water, and a small section of those barriers eventually was breached on Tuesday after holding for weeks.

"We evacuated about 30 to 40 residents in that area who lived in some condo areas there," he tells NPR's Here & Now. "We deal with [flooding] every year, but this was an unexpected breach and a lot of water got into that area."

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