Iowa Governor Chet Culver says more FEMA trailers are on the way to the state to help disaster victims. Culver says FEMA has committed to at least 15 mobile homes per day for an indefinite period of time, "So just in the last few days we’ve made real progress in terms of daily delivery and placement of families across the state."
Culver says there are still 800 families on a list for temporary housing after losing their homes in tornadoes or flooding. Culver, a Democrat, was in Louisa County Tuesday to tour some of the damages areas, and says a problem is finding the concrete pads for the trailers. He says the state is working with local officials to create more of the pads.
Culver says he learned in Wappello that officials think a small investment would allow them to extend existing sewer and water lines out to add 15 to 20 mobile homes. Culver says he talked with the head of FEMA and stressed the need to be creative with local officials in finding ways to accommodate the mobile homes.
A Cedar Rapids legislator is calling for a delay in construction of a new state office building so the money earmarked for that project can be used for flood relief. Culver says that’s one of the many things the commission he appointed to explore options to rebuild flood damaged areas will consider.
Culver says flood recovery "absolutely has to be our top priority, and that will mean finding resources." The governor says the state has a 600-million dollar cash reserved compared to 1993 when the state only had a reserve of 48 million.
Culver says the state has already taken some steps to shift resources to help with flood recovery. He cites the example announced Wednesday where the Iowa Finance Authority’s Board of Directors approved a loan of up to five-million dollars to refurbish a multifamily housing property in Cedar Rapids.
Culver says that wasn’t planned until after the flood hit as the loan would have been used for another project. He says he asked the Iowa Finance Authority, and every other department to focus on what they can do to focus resources to help the communities rebuild. Culver talked with Radio Iowa after speaking to the School Administrators of Iowa in Des Moines. The governor told the school leaders that the disaster situation is still in a "crisis" mode because of the need to find housing for those who have been displace.