Damage to private homes and public property from the massive June flooding in Iowa is expected to be well into the billions of dollars and the tedious process is now underway in determining a final, total price tag on the widespread destruction.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley met in a conference call Monday with city and county government and private sector leaders from Cedar Rapids, which had some 1,300 city blocks go underwater.
Grassley says, "We went over the flood recovery efforts and we focused in particular on the next stages of assessing damages and that’s in order for us to establish the best number possible for the tax legislation that I’m drafting as well as the next supplemental appropriations legislation that Congress can consider."
Of the 4,000 homes that were flooded in Cedar Rapids, perhaps 2,000 will have to be demolished. Many other smaller communities have fewer numbers, but a higher percentage of homes destroyed. Grassley says all of them need to be accounted for in the tally.
"I want to make sure no stone is left unturned in determining how much money Iowa needs from the federal government and that the response is consistent with the response from Washington for (Hurricane) Katrina on the Gulf Coast, other hurricanes and tornadoes, and even Nine Eleven in New York City," Grassley says. He’s urging community leaders across Iowa that had flood damage to contact his offices in Iowa or in Washington D.C.
"I know people don’t have exact numbers about the damages, what’s needed, but whatever communities can provide to my office about the damages would be helpful," Grassley says. "I want to gather as complete an accounting as possible at this point so we can make the best case during the appropriations debate in Congress."
Cedar Rapids leaders are warning residents –not– to count on a government buyout of their flood-damaged homes, as it could be a full year before the city knows how much money from the feds may be available.