The Pecatonica River runs two blocks from Laurie Thomas’s mother’s stoop in Freeport, Ill. After a recent two-day deluge, floodwaters reached the basement’s ceiling.

The Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk is an independent reporting network based at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in partnership with Report For America and the Society of Environmental Journalists, , funded by the Walton Family Foundation.

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