Iowans are assessing their losses from flooding that have inundated Des Moines and Iowa City. But small towns up and down the Mississippi still await the worst of the flooding as some rivers were not expected to crest until Thursday. Storms and flooding across six states this month have killed 24 people, injured 148 and caused more than $1.5 billion in estimated damage in Iowa alone. So far federal officials predict as many as 30 levees could overflow this week.
About 70 percent of Iowa towns have populations of less than 1,000 with just over half of those places having fewer than 500 inhabitants. Some of these areas have been the hardest hit and may not ever come back from the disaster. Many residents of the hardest hit areas are not rebuilding in these small communities but instead are deciding to move into larger cities where there are more resources available.