Rivers: Stemming the Tide

Spring's great tide was flowing again. In Montana and Minnesota, in Illinois and Pennsylvania, the creeks and streams were swollen with melted ice and fresh rains. Into the big rivers they poured, feeding the Ohio, the Missouri and, at last, the Mississippi. In that vast watershed, comprising 41% of the nation's land area and affecting 31 states, spring has always been a season for apprehension—and often of tragedy. Last week, in some few such places as Waterloo, in the Cedar River region of Iowa, where adequate flood-control installations do not yet exist, more than 6,000 people fled their homes...

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