IOWA FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – About half of Iowa is still recovering from disastrous flooding. Governor Kim Reynolds stopped in Hardin County Friday to praise the efforts of the community.
“Look at this?! How did you not have more damage? It’s incredible,” said Reynolds, gesturing to drone video of ice jams on the Iowa River.
Hardin County is just one of more than 50 counties statewide declared a disaster due to flooding. Officials in the county were quick to react before the ice jams broke loose.
“They seen, or had the insight to realize that this was going to break and when it does it was going to cause a significant amount of problems,” said Sheriff Dave McDaniel, who also serves as the county emergency management coordinator.
He explained their proactive measures to the governor, from sandbagging around their wastewater plant to evacuating the same volunteers who were placing those sandbags when the ice jams broke loose.
“I just wanted to learn and to say congratulations, and try to encourage other counties how they can be proactive and be ready,” said Reynolds.
She says Iowa will have to look differently at how it repairs its infrastructure.
“We can’t continue to have a levee system that isn’t adequate. I’ve said every time I’ve had a chance that this is all hands on deck that this is federal, state, and local. We need to not only be thinking about not only restoring the levee system but the interstate and roads at the same time,” said Reynolds.
Every levee along the Missouri River in Iowa was compromised.
Reynolds hopes an expedited request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration will offer some relief.
According to Reynolds, damages are around $1.6 billion due to this flooding.