Fish and ducks swim by office windows in flooded Midwest



After heavy rain caused massive flooding across the Midwest, office workers in Grand Rapids, Mich. were shocked to look out their windows to see wildlife in the water.


In a aquarium-like scene, one woman observed Michigan's Grand River rising high outside and spotted a small fish swimming through the water. Another photo shows a duck passing through the waters on the swollen waterway.

The harsh weather has caused devastating flooding across Illinois, Missouri and Michigan. Communities along Midwestern waterways have been fortifying makeshift levees holding back floodwaters, meteorologists say could worsen or be prolonged by looming storms.


Just passing by: Michigan resident Lynn Clay captured this fish swimming through the floodwaters outside a window in her office building in Grand Rapids, Mich.



Flooding: A duck swims a window, viewed from inside Anderson Eye Care at the Riverfront Plaza Building in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.



Nature: Overnight rain from Oklahoma to Michigan led the National Weather Service to heighten the forecast crest of some stretches of rivers while blunting the progress of other waterways' retreat

Lynn Clay, who works at an office building at the Riverfront Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich., captured the money shot of the fish swimming by.


She took the photo of the incredible waters and didn't even realize the aquatic animal had photobombed her shot until later.


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'I got lucky!' she told NBC News.


'The water is usually only 18 inches to 2 feet deep outside the building, but now it's probably 20 feet deep. It's up over the walkways, the roads, and up the buildings to the windows,' she said.




Harsh weather: Flooding has caused the Grand River water level to come up to the windows of the Riverfront Plaza Building in downtown Grand Rapids Monday





Tragic: Last week's downpours brought on sudden flooding throughout the Midwest, and high water is blamed for at least three deaths

Overnight rain from Oklahoma to Michigan led the National Weather Service to heighten the forecast crest of some stretches of rivers while blunting the progress of other waterways' retreat.


Mark Fuchs, a National Weather Service hydrologist, said the latest dousing could be especially troublesome for communities along the Illinois River, which is headed for record crests.

'Along the Illinois, any increase is going to be cause for alarm, adding to their uncertainty and, in some cases, misery,' he said late Monday afternoon.


Last week's downpours brought on sudden flooding throughout the Midwest, and high water is blamed for at least three deaths.





Grand Rapids underwater



Devastating: Homes along West Michigan near the Tittabawassee River in Saginaw Township are flooded on Monday



Rainwaters: An automobile scrapyard in James Township, Michigan near the Tittabawassee River is flooded

Authorities in LaSalle, Ill., spent Monday searching for a woman whose van was spotted days earlier near a bridge, and a 12-year-old boy was in critical condition after being pulled from a river near Leadwood, Mo., about 65 miles south of St. Louis.


The additional rain isn't welcome news in Clarksville, Mo., about 70 miles north of St. Louis.


Days after bused-in prison inmates worked shoulder to shoulder with the National Guard and local volunteers to build a makeshift floodwall of sand and gravel, the barrier showed signs of strain Monday.


Crews scrambled to patch trouble spots and build a second sandbag wall to catch any water weaseling through.


In Grafton, Ill., some 40 miles northeast of St. Louis, Mayor Tom Thompson said the small community was holding its own; by early Monday afternoon the Mississippi was 10 feet above flood stage.


Rising waters: Julia Dowell pushes her daughter Barbara Adams and family friend Haley Wright, 4, at left, in Clarksville, Mo. The swollen Mississippi River has strained a hastily erected makeshift floodwall in Clarksville



Block: Residents and members of the National Guard build a flood wall against the rising Mississippi River in Clarksville, Missouri




Waters lapped against some downtown buildings, forcing shops such as Hawg Pit BBQ to clear out and detours to be established around town. One key intersection was under 8 inches of water.

'If it gets another foot (higher), it's going to become another issue,' Thompson said. Townsfolk 'are kinda watching and holding their breath. ... Some things are going to really be close to the wire.'


Elsewhere, smaller rivers caused big problems. In Grand Rapids, Mich., the Grand River hit a record 21.85 feet, driving hundreds of people from their homes and flooding parts of downtown.


Spots south of St. Louis aren't expected to crest until late this week, and significant flooding is possible in places like Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Cairo, Ill.


Further downriver, flood warnings have been issued for Kentucky and Tennessee.




Overflowing: The Illinois River rises out of its banks flooding Lake Street on Tuesday





Record levels: The Illinois River claims large sections of Pekin Riverfront Park in downtown Pekin, Ill., as flood waters cover the walkways and boat docks


Deluge of rain: A playground is submerged after flooding in Fox Lake, Illinois. The Fox River is expected to crest after heavy rains brought flooding to the area last week






Destroyed: Household items are seen submerged in water in front of a house after flooding in Fox Lake, Illinois



Disbelief: Jeanette Bricker watches the Illinois River rises out of it's banks surrounding and flooding her home

Relief efforts are now underway to assist residents in the flooded regions.


The Salvation Army said they been dispatching canteens, mobile feeding unites, over the past several days to serve meals, snacks and beverages to flood victims who were either temporarily displaced from their homes or without utilities to cook or clean running water.

Additionally, they they were distributing clean-up kits to residents in the Chicago region.

The kits include a bucket, gloves, mask, mop, brooms, sponges, garbage bags, bleach and other cleaning agents to aid home owners as they begin the daunting process of picking up the pieces.

'Because we have a permanent local presence here in Chicagoland, with 28 corps community centers and other facilities, we were here serving the community long before the floods hit, and we will continue to be here for the long haul to support the local communities affected by these historic floods,' Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, Metropolitan Divisional Commander said.




Help: A volunteer dishes a plate a Illinois resident at a shelter set up at River's Edge United Methodist Church in Spring Bay, Ill.





All hands on deck: Dawn Moss, right, shows her 3-year-old son Sabastian Spangler how to fill a sandbag after the family finished building a temporary floodwall around their house in Dutchtown, Mo.





Relief: Officials in Peoria, Ill. work to raise a canopy for public works employees manning pumps on Water Street to step out of the rain on





Reinforcement: Semi trucks carry sandbags to Fargo , N.D. neighborhoods to protect homes from the rising Red River as the late snow melt starts to speed up