WASHINGTON - Rising flood waters are continuing threatening people who live near rivers throughout the Midwest.
Eighty-three of Iowa's 99 counties have been declared disaster areas and still more communities are at risk for major flooding.
Trying to Stay Dry
In Iowa, the effort to protect against the ravages of flooding is being fought on multiple fronts.
While some people are getting their first glimpse of the damage that has been done, others are bracing for the inevitable that is yet to come.
"All our records - I mean everything - our whole livelihood is in there," said one Iowa flood victim.
Iowa City may have seen the worst of its flooding, leaving 16 buildings on the University of Iowa campus in lakes of murky water.
But the flooding is now heading downstream, raising concerns about the swollen Mississippi River, where southeastern Iowa meets Illinois.
Residents in those areas are frantically moving to keep their communities dry.
"We're going to stay and fight, and we believe we can save our community and protect the residents and citizens of Hills," Iowa's Mayor Russ Bailey said.
More than 36,000 Iowans have been evacuated from their homes, most of them in Cedar Rapids, where the levels are going down.
"Now as the water is receding, we have so many new challenges to face," Cedar Rapids spokesman Dave Koch said.
Some of those challenges include allowing residents safely back into their homes.
City officials decided to keep everyone out for at least one more day after they found potential electrical and structural hazards. It's a decision that has left evacuees even more anxious.
"The city government says I can't go down there. I've already been there, but I can't go back. It's as frustrating as heck," one Iowa evacuee said.
The flooding has claimed several lives, the most recent a drowning victim in eastern Iowa.
It is also taking a toll on agriculture. Much of Iowa's corn and soybean crops have been severely damaged - a painful loss for farmers that will likely translate into higher prices at the supermarket.