Experts warn Midwest flood risk may persist for months

While river depths were starting to level off in parts of Nebraska on Sunday, the water is so high in many places that serious flooding is expected to remain for several days. (Source: Nebraska State Patrol/MGN)
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Flooding concerns are starting to ease in hard-hit places in the Midwest, but experts warn that with plenty of snow still left to melt in northern states, the threat could persist for months.

Rainfall and some snowmelt spurred flooding blamed in three deaths so far, with two men in Nebraska missing for more than a week. Thousands were forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The damage is estimated at $3 billion. That figure is expected to rise.

As temperatures start to warm, snowmelt in the Dakotas and Minnesota will escalate, sending more water down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries.

Lt. Col. James Startzell of the Army Corps of Engineers is urging those who live near rivers to keep a wary eye.