While much of the Midwest grapples with how best to deal with 100-year floods, the city of Springfield, Mo., worries about the more mundane storms that flood homes and float manhole covers. The city has identified some $800 million worth of needed improvements to its storm-water system, yet budgets allow for only $3 million to $4 million a year. That money is going to buy homes in known flood zones, build retention walls and replace undersized culverts.

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