DATE: June 2008
LOCATION: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin
ESTIMATED COST: $15 billion*
WHAT HAPPENED: Despite lasting just weeks and breaching only a few dozen levees, these Midwestern floods still caused serious damage, partly because more people and property were at risk than in the 1993 floods that affected many of the same areas. In the 15 years between the two storms, the population in the areas' 500-year floodplain increased by 17 percent, with the number of the people living in the area flooded in 1993 rising by 18 percent.
*All costs estimated in 2009 dollars.