More precipitation fell in the continental U.S. in the 12 months ending in May 2019 than ever recorded. Records go back more than 120 years. Blue areas had more groundwater than usual for May. Orange and red areas had less.
NASA Earth Observatory
The storm surge from Tropical Storm Barry started pushing water into areas around Lake Pontchartrain Friday, as the storm slowly moved toward shore. Here, an SUV travels down Breakwater Drive near the Orleans Marina in New Orleans. The area is behind a flood wall that protects the rest of the city.
Starr, a female bald eagle, looks over her eaglets in a nest along the Mississippi River in April. She is raising the three eaglets along with her two male partners, Valor I and Valor II.
Stewards of Upper Mississippi River Refuge via AP
Mike Stone, left, and Andy Sherman in the pumping station for Hannibal, Mo., during a flood in 1993. The city is protected by a flood wall, and flood managers have built up levees to protect against flooding. But scientists warn those structures are making flooding worse.
Two cars are submerged in floodwaters in a park in Kimmswick, Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency because of widespread flooding around the state, which has closed many roads.
A steamboat drifts along the Mississippi River in New Orleans. A group called America's Watershed Initiative says "funding for infrastructure maintenance means that multiple failures may be imminent" for the lower Mississippi River basin.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
In the past decade, freshwater and sediment diverted from the nearby Mississippi River have turned what once was an open bay into a thriving wetlands area. Local environmental groups have planted thousands of cypress trees, attempting to create a marsh that will help absorb storms that pass through.
Weenta Girmay for WWNO
This is a calculated flood map for the city of St. Louis. Water depth goes from deep (dark blue) to shallow (white, light blue). Floodwater can come from the Illinois, Upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers, as well as from heavy local precipitation.
Courtesy of Dag Lohmann/Katrisk
The ill-fated Sultana in Helena, Ark., just before it exploded on April 27, 1865, with about 2,500 people aboard. Most were Union soldiers, newly released from Confederate prison camps.
Library of Congress