Rainfall & Floods


Downpours and more intense hurricanes, exacerbated by climate change, are contributing factors to a growing number of communities finding themselves underwater. Floods are the most common (and among the most deadly) natural disasters in the United States.

2019 saw much of the country experience record-breaking rain with five Midwestern states recording the wettest year in 125 years according  to NOAA. Flooding affected nearly 14 million people across the Midwest and Southwest, Houston was swamped by the second 500-year flood in two years, dumping over 40 inches of rain within 72 hours, and DC flash floods saw a month’s rain in only one hour

Farmers and agriculture workers are hit particularly hard as crops have been destroyed, fields washed away, and spring planting disrupted for many farmers. Insufficient flood protection has left infrastructure destroyed with one farmer commenting, “I drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was…gone.” By Spring 2019, 25 states were at serious risk for flooding.  




Utah allocates millions to prepare for flood damage after wet winter

By Sam Metz 05/18/23
As the winter’s record snowpack melts and cascades down from the Rockies, Utah lawmakers on Wednesday set aside millions of dollars to prepare for potentially historic flooding. The state is among the many in the…
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Historic flooding in Fort Lauderdale was a sign of things to come – a look at who is most at risk and how to prepare

By Smitha Rao 04/27/23
When a powerful storm flooded neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in April with what preliminary reports show was 25 inches of rain in 24 hours, few people were prepared. Even hurricanes rarely drop that much…
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Mississippi River flooding prompts evacuations, sandbagging

By Scott Mcfetridge and Todd Richmond 04/27/23
Some residents along the swelling Upper Mississippi River evacuated their homes this week while others scrambled Wednesday to stack sandbags in preparation for what forecasters say could be near-record flooding caused by the rapid melting…
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Snow melt, predicted flooding to close Yosemite National Park for at least 5 days

By Dan Stillman 04/26/23
Spring is the “perfect season” to see waterfalls as warmer weather melts winter snow, according to the Yosemite National Park website. This year, however, the threat of flooding from that same melting snow will close…
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Mississippi River flooding: Prairie Du Chien community works together to fill sandbags, place around homes

By Leah Rivard AND Duaa Israr 04/25/23
Floodwaters are creeping up towards homes in Prairie Du Chien, as the Mississippi River rises closer to its expected crest of around 24 feet. Volunteers and residents have spent the past few days filling and…
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The Mississippi River Is Flooding Cities Throughout the Midwest

By Angely Mercado 04/25/23
The Mississippi River is overflowing and flooding riverbanks and roads in states across the Midwest, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
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Parts of California face ‘flooding emergency’ as storm kills at least 2

By Scott Dance and Others 03/10/23
At least two people died Friday as heavy rain fell on a deep snowpack, causing life-threatening flooding in parts of California and prompting evacuation orders. The latest powerful atmospheric river — a fire hose of…
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Where U.S. house prices may be most overvalued as climate change worsens

By Brady Dennis 02/16/23
The nation’s real estate market has yet to fully account for the increasing threats to millions of homes from rising seas, stronger storms and torrential downpours, according to new research published Thursday.
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Weeks of Storms Test California’s Approach to Taming Nature

By Christopher Flavelle 01/12/23
As California battles a third week of lashing rain and snow that have flooded communities, broken levees and toppled power lines, the state is facing questions about whether its approach to handling crippling storms is…
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Potent atmospheric river storm threatens California with flooding, heavy snow

By Rebecca Falconer 01/04/23
Californians reeling from a deadly major storm over the weekend are bracing for an even more dangerous atmospheric river event that's set to bring widespread flooding and powerful winds across the state Wednesday and Thursday.
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Los Angeles County seeks flood control improvements in face of climate change

By Louis Sahagun 12/06/22
Catastrophic flooding prompted civic leaders and engineers a century ago to begin taming the Los Angeles Basin’s rambunctious rivers with dams, storm drains and concrete. Now, scientists warn that, in a warming world, the region…
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America underwater

This year, extreme precipitation deluged communities across the United States — a hallmark risk of a warming climate. Government flood-insurance maps often left residents unprepared for the threat.

National Temperature and Precipitation Maps

National temperature and precipitation maps

Science Empowering Communities In The Face Of Flooding

Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding is a report produced by AGU, a global not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.

Storm Surge Inundation Map

This story map illustrates historical hurricane tracks, strike frequency, and potential areas of coastal flooding and inundation from storms by combining the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC’s) hurricane strike dataset.

What is Digital Coast?

This NOAA-sponsored website is focused on helping communities address coastal issues and has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. The dynamic Digital Coast Partnership, whose members represent the website’s primary…

Association of State Floodplain Managers

The mission of ASFPM is to promote education, policies and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs and human suffering caused by flooding, and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains -…

The Great Flood of 2019: A Complete Picture of a Slow-Motion Disaster

This year’s flooding across the Midwest and the South affected nearly 14 million people, yet the full scale of the slowly unfolding disaster has been difficult to fathom. To visualize just how extensive it was,…

Going under: Long wait times for post-flood buyouts leave homeowners underwater

By the end of this century, as many as 13 million people in the United States will see their homes affected by sea level rise. Millions more who live, work, or travel through coastal or…

Understanding FEMA Flood Maps and Limitations

Flooding in the United States (U.S.) has cost over $1 trillion in inflation adjusted dollars since 1980 and represents more than 63% of the cost associated with all billion dollar or more natural disasters.1 It…

Flood Resilience Portal

The Flood Resilience Portals are online spaces for sharing practical knowledge (including ‘solutions’) about why and how to build community flood resilience. They bring together all of the knowledge generated and exchanged through the Zurich…

Floods information and resources

Floods, big or small, can have devastating effects on your home and your family. You can take steps to reduce the harm caused by flooding. Learn how to prepare for a flood, stay safe during…


Babcock Ranch: Solar-powered “hurricane-proof” town takes direct hit from Hurricane Ian, never loses electricity

While hard-hit Fort Myers, Florida, continues its recovery from Hurricane Ian, some hope can be found 12 miles to the northeast at the planned community of Babcock Ranch. That's where Syd Kitson and his partners…
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Persistent Rains Pummel Chicago, Submerging Roads and Swamping Basements

By Julie Bosman   09/11/22  
Torrential, unrelenting rains swept through Chicago on Sunday, flooding basements and alleys, closing grocery stores and restaurants, and leaving cars floating under viaducts on streets impassable with deep water.
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In flooded Kentucky, schools race to rebuild

By Emily Cochrane   08/28/22  
This school year was, finally, supposed to be a return to normal. But after floodwaters wrecked homes and schools across the region, simply getting started will be a challenge.
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Dallas flooding is 5th 1-in-1,000-year flood event in US since late July

By Wyatt Loy   08/26/22  
From the Desert Southwest to the southern Plains and Midwest, epic deluges have been an unfortunately common occurrence over the past month.
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Five 1,000-year rain events have struck the U.S. in five weeks. Why?

By Matthew Cappucci   08/23/22  
Five weeks. Five instances of 1,000-year rain events. If it seems like the weather across the Lower 48 as of late has been bonkers, you’re not imagining things. It’s been a maelstrom of weather extremes,…
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A ‘megaflood’ in California could drop 100 inches of rain, scientists warn

By Matthew Cappucci   08/12/22  
A mention of California might usually conjure images of wildfires and droughts, but scientists say that the Golden State is also the site of extreme, once-a-century “megafloods” — and that climate change could amplify just…
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The coming California megaflood

By Raymond Zhong   08/12/22  
California, where earthquakes, droughts and wildfires have shaped life for generations, also faces the growing threat of another kind of calamity, one whose fury would be felt across the entire state.
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Here’s how extreme the D.C.-area rainstorm was Wednesday night

By Jason Samenow   08/11/22  
The deluge in the D.C. area Wednesday night flooded roads and triggered traffic gridlock, with high water levels even stranding motorists — some needing rescue — and entering homes and businesses. Many areas saw an…
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Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’

By Gabrielle Canon   08/10/22  
Recent severe rains in Death Valley that flushed debris across roadways, damaged infrastructure and carried away cars are being described by meteorologists and park officials as a once-in 1,000-year event. The arid valley was pelted…
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How floods become human catastrophes

By Somini Sengupta   08/05/22  
The greatest hazard of the climate-changed era is often just the hard fact of being poor. It’s what turns an extreme weather event into a human catastrophe. If you don’t have much, you’re likely to…
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Sea level rise is causing record-breaking coastal flooding. It’s only expected to get worse – even on days without rain.

By Li Cohen   08/04/22  
The nation's coasts are in trouble. After a year of record-breaking coastal flooding, a new report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that it's going to get more frequent, more intense and…
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How Coal Mining and Years of Neglect Left Kentucky Towns at the Mercy of Flooding

By Rick Rojas and Others   08/04/22  
This sliver of land wedged between the thick woods and Wright Fork creek has been the home of Gary Moore’s family for as long as there has been a United States. The burial plot for…
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Death toll for Kentucky floods climbs to 28, with more storms coming

By Maria Sacchetti   07/31/22  
The death toll from severe flooding in eastern Kentucky has risen to 28 people, including several children, and the governor said more fatalities are expected as search-and-rescue teams go door-to-door in the Appalachian foothills to…
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What the Floods Left Behind: A Devastated Kentucky Views the Damage

By Shawn Hubler   07/31/22  
Search and rescue operations continued on Sunday in eastern Kentucky, where devastating floods, the product of extreme rainfall, swept through rural communities last week.
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Jet Stream Stokes Both Deadly Midwest Flooding and Northwest Heat

By Brian K Sullivan   07/28/22  
Deadly floods are slamming the US Heartland. More than 2,000 miles away, dangerous heat is scorching the Pacific Northwest. The same phenomenon is to blame for both. A massive bend in the jet stream --…
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These hurricane flood maps reveal the climate future for Miami, NYC and D.C.

By Jenny Staletovich and Others   07/28/22  
As climate change warms the planet, drives up sea levels and energizes hurricanes, the arsenal of dangerous impacts delivered by the fierce storms is expected to get supercharged. Among the most worrisome: powerful flooding from…
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Climate Change Magnified Recent California Deluge

By Anne C. Mulkern   10/27/21  
A record-breaking storm that swept through California in recent days was made worse by climate change, experts say. And not just because of additional rainfall that’s a symptom of a warmer climate. Adding to the…
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Record rainfall offers dry state needed relief

By Hayley Smith, Luke Money and Lila Seidman   10/26/21  
The drought-dried shores of Folsom Lake were damp this week after what officials called the first big storm of the season. The water level at Lake Oroville, which receded so much this summer that officials…
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Storm unleashes mudflows, inundates Bay Area

By Rosanna Xia   10/25/21  
Bomb cyclone. Rivers of rain. Emergency response officials were bracing all of last week for the worst days of the storm — and it finally arrived late Saturday evening. Light scattered showers in Northern California,…
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Floods threaten to shut down a quarter of U.S. roads and critical buildings

By Jeffrey Pierre   10/14/21  
A quarter of the roads in the United States would be impassable during a flood, according to a new study by First Street Foundation that looks at flooding threats to the country's critical infrastructure.
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How Government Decisions Left Tennessee Exposed to Deadly Flooding

By Christopher Flavelle   08/26/21  
The floods that killed at least 20 people in Tennessee last weekend arrived with shocking speed and force — seemingly a case study of the difficulties of protecting people from explosive rainstorms as climate change…
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Manchin in the middle: West Virginia senator puts his stamp on infrastructure, spending bills

Democrats’ razor-thin majority gives each Senate Democrat tremendous leverage. But Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from deep-red West Virginia, seems to relish in keeping everyone guessing about what it will take to get his vote.
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Scores Die in India as Monsoon Rains Swamp Towns and Send Boulders Tumbling

By Karan Deep Singh   07/26/21  
“Guys, we have to run!” said a man filming the devastation unfolding in his hillside town in northern India on Sunday, as a landslide set off by incessant monsoon rains sent heavy rocks tumbling down…
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In aftermath of German floods, fires burn in southern Europe as rains drench London

By Miriam Berger and Karla Adam   07/26/21  
Wildfires are spreading on the Italian island of Sardinia, and elsewhere in southern Europe, fueled by wind and dry weather — adding to a list of travails that have plagued the continent over the summer,…
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Floods, Heat, Then Floods Again: England Is Battered by Wild Weather

By Isabella Kwai   07/26/21  
For the second time in a matter of two weeks, heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc across London, flooding train stations, stranding motorists and forcing at least two hospitals to redirect patients from their emergency rooms.
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Climate Crisis Turns World’s Subways Into Flood Zones

By Hiroko Tabuchi and John Schwartz   07/22/21  
Terrified passengers trapped in flooded subway cars in Zhengzhou, China. Water cascading down stairways into the London Underground. A woman wading through murky, waist-deep water to reach a New York City subway platform.
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Biden imposes flood standard after stumbling the first time

By Thomas Frank   05/24/21  
It was an innocuous error that President Biden made on his first day in office — and that he has now corrected, to the relief of climate advocates. When Biden issued an expansive day one…
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Millions in Texas and Louisiana are under flash flood watches due to torrential rain

By Aya Elamroussi, CNN   05/19/21  
Millions across southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana will remain under flash flood watches into Thursday because of torrential rain that has swept through the region, triggering power outages and reports of localized damage.
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Recovery For All of Us: New York City Adopts new Zoning Rules to Protect Coastal Areas From Climate Change

NEW YORK—Following a City Council vote, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that a major package of zoning rules will now help to protect homes and businesses in New York City’s vast floodplain from climate…
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Houston’s ‘New Normal’: A Hotter And Wetter Climate

By Aya Elamroussi, CNN   05/06/21  
Houston's weather has gotten hotter and wetter, according to the latest data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It mirrors a general trend across the country as the planet warms. Every 10 years, NOAA updates…
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Why is it raining so hard? Global warming is delivering heavier downpours

By Tiffany Means   04/30/21  
when it rains, it pours. Today’s rainstorms give new meaning to this age-old expression. Extreme precipitation has increased in nearly every region of the mainland United States since the start of the 20th century, according…
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The value of US coral reefs for flood risk reduction

By Borja G. Reguero   04/15/21  
Habitats, such as coral reefs, can mitigate increasing flood damages through coastal protection services. We provide a fine-scale, national valuation of the flood risk reduction benefits of coral habitats to people, property, economies and infrastructure.…
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As Flood Risk Grows, Experts, Elected Officials Call for More—and Smarter—Federal Action

By Matthew Fuchs and Brian Watts   04/13/21  
Flooding is a growing problem across the U.S., from increasingly frequent and intense hurricanes and tidal flooding to seasonal inland events driven by more and heavier rains. As these disasters exact a mounting toll on…
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As rainstorms grow more severe and frequent, communities fail to prepare for risks

By Jim Morrison   04/09/21  
When then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced plans in 2017 for a sprawling Foxconn electronics plant, he touted the 13,000 promised jobs and $10 billion investment spread across 1,000 acres, much of it farmland. Downstream across…
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Coastal flooding continues to increase in South Carolina

By Danielle Miller   10/19/20  
King tide floods affected many locations along the East Coast this weekend, including Charleston. This type of flooding, often called sunny day flooding, occurs during the highest astronomical tides of the year. Dr. Kirstin Dow,…
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Gone In A Generation

By Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney   09/26/20  
There’s stark evidence of the problem near the town of Truth or Consequences, about 100 miles north of the Mexican border. The century-old Elephant Butte Dam was constructed along the Rio Grande to provide power…
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Fierce rainstorm strikes Charleston, a reminder of how climate change has amped up weather

By Tony Bartelme   09/25/20  
The storm came from the southwest, loaded with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Gray clouds moved in with little warning, drizzling at first. Then just before noon Friday the skies opened up, unleashing a…
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“How long before my home goes underwater?”

By John Englander   09/21/20  
“Do I have 20 or 30 years before my property floods?” is a typical question I get at least once a week. The other day it was someone about a property in Ochlockee Bay, marked…
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What is a derecho? A meteorology professor explains these violent storms.

By Russ Schumacher   08/11/20  
Derechos occur mainly across the central and eastern United States, where many locations are affected one to two times per year on average. They can produce significant damage to structures and sometimes cause “blowdowns” of…
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250 million coastal dwellers will face rising floods

By Tim Radford   08/06/20  
Once again, researchers confirm that coastal dwellers can expect worse floods, more often and more expensively. The post 250 million coastal dwellers will face rising floods appeared first on Climate News Network.
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Weather Disasters Are Mounting Amid The Pandemic. Michigan Floods Are Just The Latest.

By Alexander C Kaufman   05/21/20  
By Wednesday, fears mounted that the deluge could infiltrate a Dow chemical plant and endanger a nuclear research reactor. The company confirmed that floodwaters were “commingling with on-site containment ponds.”
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US coasts face far more frequent severe floods

by Tim Radford   04/24/20  
For US coasts, high-water hazards have just become more hazardous: a lot more hazardous, say scientists. The post US coasts face far more frequent severe floods appeared first on Climate News Network.
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A green solution to an aging stormwater system

By Frances Stead Sellers   04/09/20  
Climate change means more floods, which overwhelm urban sewers and send raw sewage into rivers and streams. Philadelphia is aiming to capture rainwater before it flows into city drains.
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Farmers’ experience of climate change doesn’t alter politics, study says

By Bryce Oates   11/23/19  
Farmers see climate change as a business challenge, not a political cause that requires public action, according to a qualitative study in the Midwest. Farmers understand that the climate is changing but don’t favor collective…
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After The Water

By Rebecca Hersher and Ryan Kellman   11/07/19  
When a flash flood ripped through Old Ellicott City in Maryland, residents thought it was a freak occurrence. Instead, it was a hint about the future. And adapting to that future has been painful.
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Sunny Day Flooding

With Hurricane Dorian threatening in late August 2019, we investigate the climate crisis in Norfolk, Virginia -- site of the largest Naval base in the world and vital to US national security. Norfolk is also…
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In Houston, a rash of storms tests the limits of coping with climate change

By Christopher Flavelle   10/02/19  
After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, Houston jumped to the front of the pack in adapting to the threat of climate change. It passed tougher building codes, offered more buyouts for flood-prone homes and budgeted…
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Building a better algorithm to predict flood risk in the age of climate change

It's dusk in Charleston, South Carolina, and Sharai Lewis-Gruss slides on waders and sloshes into a deep puddle on the side of the road.
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Across America, climate change is already disrupting lives

By Zoeann Murphy and Chris Mooney   09/26/19  
The continental United States is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was a century ago. Seas at the coasts are nine inches higher. The damage is mounting from these fundamental changes, and Americans are affected…
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