Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is expecting a federal disaster proclamation will be issued soon for the recent flooding in the state. Braley, a Democrat, spent part of last week touring some of the damage around Marshalltown, Chelsea, Cedar Rapids, and the Amana Colonies.
In a call with reporters Wednesday, Braley outlined some the damage to private property throughout Iowa’s First Congressional District. “Linn County had 10 homes evacuated and about 80-percent of the basements in Marshall County experienced flooding,” Braley said. “There was also basement flooding in Mitchell County, 131 homes in Poweshiek County were impacted and 230 homes were evacuated in Tama County, including the entire town of Chelsea, which I toured by boat.”
The damage to public property in the district includes washed out highways in Mitchell County. In Linn County, major flooding was avoided, but officials estimate expenses associated with preparing for high waters will top $1 million. Braley said even though forecasts for flood events have improved, it’s still an “inexact science” to some extent. “For most of the people whose lives and homes and businesses could’ve been impacted by another epic flood event, I’m confident that they would’ve felt that preparation was well placed, especially given the memory of the worst flooding event in the history of the state just five years ago,” Braley said. Several days of dry weather last weekend improved flooding conditions in the state and the waters did not reach as high as had been predicted in many areas.
Braley has sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner calling on him to immediately schedule a vote on the Water Development Resources Act (WDRA). The measure has already been approved in the Senate. Braley said WDRA authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to complete flood prevention and river navigation projects. “Communities in Iowa are depending upon that bill to be able to provide the type of flood control projects that are needed to protect their citizens,” Braley said.
Braley has added a flood resources page to his congressional website.