Gov. Kim Reynolds is looking on the state Legislature to cross $25 million in emergency aid funding for flood-affected communities in southwest Iowa.
The Republican governor also signed an government order Monday to type a Flood Restoration Advisory Board that may plan and coordinate aid efforts and investigate flood control in Iowa shifting ahead.
“To move ahead, it’s important that we not solely present funding on the state degree, but in addition have a central point of coordination,” Reynolds informed reporters Monday.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reacts to information concerning the prolong of flooding in southwest Iowa on Monday, March 18, 2019, during a briefing with native officers in Mills County. (Photograph: Kelsey Kremer/The Register)
Historic flooding inundated southwest Iowa in mid-March, swallowing up homes and roads and infiltrating farmland and businesses. Every levee from Council Bluffs to the Missouri state line was either breached or over-topped.
Some towns, like Hamburg and Pacific Junction, are still underwater. Parts of Interstate 29 have been closed for more than a month.
► More: Damaged levees could take years to repair, while southwest Iowa is at risk of more flooding this year
According to state data, 25,000 homes were destroyed or had major damage and more than 4,200 businesses were impacted. Reynolds estimated last month the flood had caused $1.6 billion in damages, although that number could change once additional areas have been inspected.
“This recovery will be difficult and it will be complex,” she said. “It will require significant coordination at the local, state and federal levels.”
Reynolds will serve as chair of the 15-member advisory board, which will look at ways to coordinate construction of damaged infrastructure, develop long-term plans for rebuilding, and make recommendations to the Legislature on additional needs. It will also serve as a resource for impacted Iowans to navigate what funding is available to them.
The governor said she wants to use this year’s historic flooding to strategically rebuild “better than before.”
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“We are looking for the long-term and we’re looking at building a better system than we’ve had in place before,” she said Monday. ” … We have a lot of work ahead, and I think we need to be purposeful in how we do it.”
Her legislative proposal includes $15 million from this budget year’s ending balance. The money would go toward flood mitigation for impacted communities, such as repairs to levees, drainage areas and other infrastructure.
She’s also requesting an additional $10 million in next year’s budget for additional workforce housing tax credits. The credits would be used to accelerate housing improvements in impacted areas.
“This will help with some short-term improvements, so we can get residents back in their…