Officials Tell US Senator Flood Recovery Is Beyond Local Resources

HAMBURG – US Sen. Chuck Grassley  assured Iowa flood victims Friday that federal law  is already in place to assist in their recovery, but local officials noted that timeliness is important and said business as usual in Washington, D.C., may not suffice.

Mike O’Neil, Grape Hospital administrator said it costs about $28,000 a day to keep the hospital open, but there are not many patients right now.

Hamburg School Superintendent Mike Wells said the city is desperate for Fema trailers to provide housing to stabilize families and keep kids in school.

County Commissioner Terry Graham said a third of the county’s roads are impacted and asked for federal help to rebuild.

Farmer Leo Ettleman said cost-share requirements for levee repairs have many levee districts in debt from 2011. He said it will be impossible for them to pay 25 percent of repairs on 14 breaches.

Levee District Manager Pat Sheldon said local levee districts are responsible to pay for the cohesive soils that top the levees like a type of levee armor. He told Grassley the costs are too great for local districts and the loss of productive land only makes the financial situation worse.

County officials also said if farmers will have any chance of salvaging grain on the bottoms, the roads will have to be repaired and rebuilt in short order.


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