Mason City residents recalled last year’s flood during events Sunday as part of the "River City Rises, Recovers and Remembers" event in East Park. Major General Ron Dardis was the man in charge of the Iowa National Guard last year and is now director of the Rebuild Iowa Office.
Dardis thanked state legislators for their quick action in providing millions of dollars in relief to flood victims statewide. He notes it only took lawmakers a few weeks to pass the first disaster recovery bill, which brought 56-million dollars to Mason City.
Dardis says his office and other state officials are working hard to help Iowa recover from its worst natural disaster and the fifth-worst in United States history, when you consider the amount of damage to public infrastructure. He says thousands of Iowans lost their homes.
Estimates say Iowa had between eight and ten-billion dollars damage from last year’s floods and tornadoes. Iowa’s been promised more than two-billion in disaster recovery assistance and Dardis says he’s working, along with Governor Culver and others, to get the state still more money and to streamline the federal process to make disaster relief flow more quickly.
Dardis says the rebuilding effort can be aggravating at times, but he hopes everyone can pitch in and help Iowa recover. He says recoveries can be "painful" and the process can be frustrating and time-consuming, but if we all work to rebuild Iowa to a better standard, all of the frustrations will pay off.
Representatives from several community agencies were at the event for those who still need assistance after the floods.