Governor Chet Culver says when the flood waters recede and storm debris is cleared, the damage tally could reach into the billions of dollars.
"Certainly I’m saddened and very troubled by the many consequences of this historic flooding — hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars when it is all said and done," Culver says. "I have real concerns about our agricultural sector. I have toured the state and seen the devastation to our crops."
Culver and the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency took an aerial tour of flood damage in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids this morning. The governor has declared 83 of Iowa’s 99 counties disaster areas. The state has been pummeled with bad weather for weeks.
"But we’re also at the same time tough and determined and resilient," Culver says,"and I am so inspired as I travel the state to see the teamwork and the cooperation at the local level…You have teams that are working, coordinating around the clock."
Mandatory or voluntary evacuations are in effect for portions of Cedar Rapids, Anamosa, Iowa City, Coralville, Des Moines, Madrid, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Davenport and in rural areas of Mahaska County — the Oskaloosa area — and Des Moines County in far southeast Iowa. "We have ongoing evacuations, potentially tens of thousands of people who will be sheltered across this state," Culver says.
According to the governor, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is prepared to send in "dozens of trucks" from places like St. Louis, Kansas City — even Dallas, Texas if necessary — to ensure Iowans have adequate drinking water and food.