The Federal Emergency Management Agency is fowarding another $1.2 million to a northeast Iowa town that was hit twice last year by natural disaster.
A tornado struck New Hartford in late May, then flooding swept through the small community in mid-June. Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says this latest round of FEMA money is to be used for flood "mitigation."
"That money will be used to acquire and remove one commercial property and 25 residential properties that were damaged by the 2008 flooding," Braley says. "And for the people who have been through so much in the past year in New Hartford, this is great news."
All but nine of the town’s 359 residents were evacuated when Beaver Creek flooded last June. Just two weeks before the flood, the northern part of New Hartford was hit by the same tornado that tore through nearby Parkersburg.
"At many of the flood commemeration events I’ve spoken at (this year), I’ve talked about flying to Minneapolis on my way back to Washington, D.C. (last year), and looking down and seeing the town of New Hartford completely covered in water and realizing I’d soon be heading right back home," Braley says, "which is exactly what happened."
Many homeowners in New Hartford have returned, but the convenience store and hardware store in New Hartford have closed for good.
Another Iowa politician — U.S. Senator Charles Grassley — has a farm in rural New Hartford. Braley represents Butler County, including the town of New Hartford, in the U.S. House of Representatives.