DES MOINES, Iowa — The state is getting its first indication of how much damage the recent Iowa floods have caused.
Gov. Kim Reynolds has requested FEMA to expedite her request of $1.6 billion in federal aid. In addition, the National Guard will be flying representatives from FEMA over the flooding to give them a first-hand look.
“By doing this and getting them the information, we’ll have an acknowledgement of that within two days, so we’re hoping for a pretty fast turnaround and we’ll follow up to make sure there isn’t anything else that they need,” said Reynolds.
Broken down, the request looks like this:
$481 million for individual assistance.
$77 million for public assistance.
$300 million in damages to businesses.
$214 million in damages to agriculture.
$350 million needed for repairs to the levee system along the river.
$175 million needed to repair agricultural levees.
“As I’ve indicated over and over, we’re just beginning the season so this isn’t something that we can think about for two years. We need to figure out a way to secure our communities, our farmland, start to repair the tiebacks, the agricultural levees, and then focus on the core levees,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds says so far 1,200 homes have been seriously damaged or destroyed and 23,500 have at least some sort of damage. Sen. Joni Ernst says Iowa’s congressional delegation has made sure the higher-ups in Washington know what’s happening.
“I have already sent an individual letter of course to the administration, to President Trump, just expressing the desire to get the declaration signed immediately. We also as an Iowa delegation will be expressing support to the president,” said Ernst.
According to the governor, Vice President Mike Pence has indicated the president will sign the declaration. Meanwhile General Orr of the Iowa National Guard says he will be on the ground in places like Hamburg and Glenwood to check on the troops working there.