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U.S. Midwest braces for floods after weeks of subfreezing weather

Visitors take pictures of an ice filled Chicago River Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in downtown Chicago. Weeks of subfreezing weather are giving way, at least briefly, to temperatures in the 50s, putting cities on guard for flooding, roof collapses and clogged storm drains. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

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Visitors take pictures of an ice filled Chicago River Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in downtown Chicago. Weeks of subfreezing weather are giving way, at least briefly, to temperatures in the 50s, putting cities on guard for flooding, roof collapses and clogged storm drains. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

CHICAGO - Blue skies and mild temperatures are luring winter-battered Midwesterners outside after weeks of subfreezing weather and snow.

But there are signs — melting snow, growing puddles — that Mother Nature is about to unleash a whole new headache: flooding.

Weeks of subfreezing weather are giving way, at least briefly, to warmer temperatures.

And with more snow and even rain in the immediate forecast, many Midwestern cities are bracing for flooding, roof collapses and clogged storm drains.

A new layer of snow and sleet is forecast early Thursday, particularly across Wisconsin, northern Illinois and parts of Indiana, before temperatures rise and change the precipitation to rain.

But temperatures are expected to drop by Sunday, meaning wet roads and sidewalks will likely freeze.

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