State and federal officials are trying to determine if FEMA trailers will be brought in to house Iowans after the flood waters recede.
Thousands of trailers were set up after Hurricane Katrina for Gulf Coast residents, but Iowa Homeland Security administrator David Miller says officials are still tallying the housing needs in the wake of this natural disaster. "Part of that process is to take inventory of the current housing stock that’s in the state," Miller says. "I happened to be in Iowa City yesterday, and while a number of people are displaced, the feeling generally there is there’s a lot of housing stock available."
There may be ample apartment space in an urban area like Iowa City. Miller says it may be Iowa’s rural communities that need the FEMA trailers for temporary housing. State officials estimate that by Tuesday afternoon, 38,000 Iowans had been driven out of their homes by flood waters. "We don’t have a lot of people in shelters which tells us that they’re either staying in hotels or they’re staying with friends or they’ve gone to other places in the state, but they will want to return to their homes as soon as they can," Miller says. "We will take stock of the situation and we’ll work with FEMA and the other partners to find solutions, whatever they may be."
Besides the flooding, a powerful May 25th tornado destroyed dozens of homes in northern Iowa. Some of those tornado victims from Parkersburg and New Hartford moved into hotel rooms in nearby Waverly, only to be flooded out there the next week.