Deadly Floods Wreak Havoc on Parts of US, Europe

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From Florida to the Midwest to central Europe, heavy rains and major flooding are causing havoc for millions of people.   
    
This comes as the year's first tropical storm makes landfall in Florida. But residents along the Sunshine State's west coast from Tallahassee down to Fort Myers are prepared.

"Sandbags are a must for these kinds of stuff," one resident said.

"The house that we are living in is very close to the river so we are really worried that it is going to flatten," another resident said.

By late Thursday, into Friday, Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to bring 45 mile-per-hour winds to the coastlines of Georgia and the Carolinas. Forecasters say the big story with this storm system will be flooding rains.

The Midwest is facing the same problem. A 100-foot break in a levee where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers join caused major flooding in several towns.

"It's amazing," one Midwest resident remarked. "You just can't stop the river."

People living in the area frantically tried to shore it up with sandbags, but the water kept poring over the makeshift barriers. Two other levees were also breached.

"I have a whole new respect for people who live near flood plains or anything like that, levees -- it's a totally different feeling than I ever had," Missouri resident Robin Surdkye said.
 
The result: numerous homes and businesses underwater.
 
"We've got each other and, you know, life goes on. This is part of living on the water," business owner Marty Harp said.

Heavy rain last week caused a sudden rise in the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Illinois and several smaller rivers. The rivers are on the way down at many locations.

Meanwhile, overseas in Passau, Germany, the cleanup is underway after heavy rains caused major flooding there.

"My existence is destroyed, from one day to another, destroyed," one German flood survivor said.

Passau was one of the worst hit cities as swollen rivers pushed the water to levels not seen in these parts in more than five centuries.

The toll of the devastation is only beginning to set in.

"We do not have insurance; there is no possibility for insurance. You cannot insure a home in a flood area," one resident said.

In Dresden, Germany, residents are keeping a very close eye on the River Elbe, hoping it won't breach its flood defenses. The Danube, another of Europe's great rivers, has caused major flooding in southern Germany. At least 16 people have died and several are still missing.

Floods also deluged parts of Austria and Switzerland.

And in the Czech Republic, firemen in one town went door to door evacuating residents as flood waters there continue to rise.

"At the moment, we have about eight feet of water inside the house," Czech resident Alena Lacinova said. "Maybe the water will reach the first floor. It's a pity for all those who have the same problem."

The good news is residents in central Europe can look forward to drier conditions in the coming days.

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