WATERLOO, Iowa --- In response to flooding in Northeast Iowa, Rep. Bruce Braley is pushing the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Water Resources Development Act. The act holds a number of provisions for water related infrastructure that are critical for flood prevention in Iowa.
"It's been six years since the last WRDA bill, and it's supposed to be passed every two years to make sure there's enough for infrastructure repair for Iowa and around the country," Braley said during a press conference with reporters Wednesday morning.
When Braley headed to Waterloo for Memorial Day weekend, he planned on participating in events remembering the Parkersburg tornado and New Hartford flood which hit five years ago. Unexpectedly, he was called to work on flood disaster relief again.
Braley visited a number of counties surveying flood damage, including Black Hawk County, where flooding damaged rural and gravel roads, requiring resurfacing and erosion control.
"The damage to rural and gravel roads is a significant cost, and it's going to be hard for people who need farm-to-market," Braley said. "Many people are very fortunate that the damage was not worse."
Braley visited other locations including Marshall, Linn, Amana and Tama counties. He surveyed Chelsea, which required a complete evacuation due to flooding from the Iowa River.
The American Red Cross also assisted 18 flooded counties by providing necessities like 125 meals, more than 1,500 snacks and bottled water and 900 clean-up kits to disaster struck families.
Gov. Terry Branstad issued disaster proclamations for more than 40 counties, allowing them to apply for state resources. Both Braley and Branstad are seeking federal disaster aid to further assist flood-ridden counties and individuals.