Iowa governor seeks state flood-relief money in advance of federal dollars

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking lawmakers for $15 million from the ending balance of the current year's budget for immediate work on levees and repairs in flooded communities. She's also seeking $10 million from next year's budget to accelerate housing improvements.

Reynolds announced her request Monday, saying federal money often takes months or years to arrive.

“We have not forgotten Iowans and their families who are still suffering from the devastating flooding along the Missouri River. This critical funding will assist in flood control infrastructure repairs and immediate fixes for public safety,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The legislation spans levees, drainage areas, and flood control improvements, for individuals, businesses, and communities affected by this historic flooding.”

Reynolds also announced the creation of a Flood Recovery Advisory Board, which will coordinate state recovery efforts. Reynolds says she'll lead the panel of up to 15 people.

“The Advisory Board will strengthen partnerships across federal, state, and local governments along with private and nonprofit organizations to help rebuild Iowa communities. They will deliver an effective and efficient effort to further address the flooding natural disaster,” Gov. Reynolds said.

Flooding in March damaged more than 50 levees stretching about 250 miles along the Missouri River. Reynolds says 25,000 homes were destroyed or have major damage and more than 4,200 businesses were affected.

Early damage estimates provided to the federal government for a disaster declaration total $1.6 billion but Reynolds says that is likely to grow.