Iowa’s governor says damage estimates for the flooding that’s hitting Mississippi River towns will be included in the state’s still-expanding request for federal disaster aid for Missouri River flooding.
The president issued a federal disaster declaration in March and the state is getting federal money to rebuild public infrastructure, like roads. Governor Kim Reynolds says damage estimates for a handful of counties have been so significant that residents in those areas already are eligible for individual assistance.
“As they start the assessment of the damage in Davenport, they potentially and probably will because of the amount of infrastructure qualify for the individual assistance through the presidential disaster declaration,” Reynolds says, “so that’s just additional funding that will be made available to them as well.”
Governor Reynolds is heading to Davenport Friday to see the flood damage for herself, including the area of downtown Davenport that flooded Tuesday. Hesco barriers filled with sand and gravel and sitting on top of levees were breached.
“They have the sandbags and the Hescos,” Reynolds says. “Unfortunately, you know, they’ve had them up and the water’s been up against them for over a month and that tends to make them more vulnerable when that happens.”
The governor says the flood threat is likely to move to Mississippi cities that are downriver, too.
“We’re really vulnerable right now,” Reynolds says.
On Wednesday, the governor declared Clinton County a state disaster area. Chance Kness, Clinton County’s Emergency Management director, says the flooding has been an issue since mid-March and at least a dozen homes in Camanche and on the north side of Clinton have been impacted.
“We’re still assessing how many are affected,” Kness says. “We don’t necessarily know until we’re contacted by some. We’re out taking drone flights to get a better idea.”
The governor’s declaration of a state disaster emergency makes state grants of up to $5000 available to low-income residents to cover flood-related losses.