Along the mighty Alps great, dense, blue-black clouds discharged their heavy burdens of warm rain for many hours. Snow and ice became water as the endless rain from the sky beat down on the glaciers and a hundred snow-capped summits. Little pools formed and overflowed into rivulets and tore down the sides of the ravines into the streams that gurgled and splashed in their headlong course to the mightier rivers they feed.

Overnight Lake Constance in Switzerland rose 15 feet as the upper reaches of the Rhine poured in its roaring torrent of muddy water. Higher and higher rose the Rhine,...

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