ShareThis Page
Midwest flooding costs increasing, with $1.6B damage in Iowa | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Midwest flooding costs increasing, with $1.6B damage in Iowa

Associated Press
920598_web1_920598-46427e475c9c4f1ab47acdc881381f68
In this Wednesday, March 20, 2019 photo provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows Water Patrol Troopers assisting utility company employees in shutting off natural gas lines in flood waters at Craig, Mo.
920598_web1_920598-38d3a249f76d4238bce56b300c1cf7fa
In this March 18, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force, environmental restoration employees deploy a containment boom from a boat on Offutt Air Force Base in Neb., as a precautionary measure for possible fuel leaks in the flooded area.
920598_web1_920598-f5e04213b1ae42298f3e5ea0687a85c9
This March 17, 2019 photo released by the U.S. Air Force shows an aerial view of Areas surrounding Offutt Air Force Base affected by flood waters in Nebraska.
920598_web1_920598-f3199aacf0e64cbdbc0a7758fbabbc13
The cab of a pickup truck peeks out of floodwaters Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Hamburg, Iowa.
920598_web1_920598-3c8add7c203042dd81d9df40e3d91470
Treyton Gubser, left, and his uncle Daniel Gubser paddleusing shovels through the floodwaters after they rescued Daniel’s kid’s cat, Bob Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Hamburg, Iowa.
920598_web1_920598-4420bcd6ef11489c8d28fa777d47704a
People on a boat float down floodwaters that cover Washington Street Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Hamburg, Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday that recent flooding in the state has caused an estimated $1.6 billion in damage, pushing the total costs from the devastating Midwest flooding to at least $3 billion.

The ongoing flooding along the Missouri River has damaged thousands of homes and inundated vast swaths of agricultural fields in water in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The flooding, which followed heavy rains and snowmelt this month, has also been blamed for three deaths.

Reynolds sent a letter asking President Donald Trump to quickly issue a disaster declaration for 57 counties in Iowa where businesses, homes and levees have been severely impacted by flooding, including along the Missouri River. More counties may be added to the list.

More than 1,200 homes in Iowa have been destroyed or extensively damaged by recent flooding and another 23,540 have at least minor damage, she said. The estimates indicate the flooding has caused more than $480 million in damage to homes, while businesses have suffered $300 million in damage. Agriculture damage is estimated at $214 million.

Flooding in Nebraska has caused an estimated $1.4 billion in damage. The state received Trump’s federal disaster assistance approval on Thursday.

About 70 miles (112.7 kilometers) of levees in Iowa operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are damaged or destroyed, and the cost to repair them is estimated at $350 million. About 175 miles (281.6 kilometers) of non-federal agriculture levees also need repair, at an additional cost of $175 million.

“We’re just beginning the season, so this isn’t something we can think about for two years,” Reynolds said. “We need to figure out a way to secure our communities and our farmland and start to repair the agricultural levees and focus on the Corps levees that have been compromised.”

Missouri officials have not yet said how much flooding has likely the cost the state.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said Friday that 120 roads were closed because of flooding, including stretches of Interstate 29 and U.S. 61.

The National Weather Service said the Missouri River was expected to crest Friday at levels just short of those reached during historic 1993 flooding in Atchison, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri. About 1,200 residents of the Kansas town of Elwood were urged to leave, and the governor eased restrictions on large vehicles carrying relief supplies.

Across the river, parts of an industrial area in St. Joseph were inundated with water. But no major flooding is forecast downstream in Kansas City, Missouri.

Categories: News | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.