HEARTLAND FLOOD: Rep. Cindy Axne talks recovery in Crescent, Iowa

CRESCENT, Iowa (WOWT) -- One of the hardest-hit counties in Iowa has a message for Washington, "hurry up and get our flood-recovery dollars down here.” They’re counting on their congresswoman, Cindy Axne, to get it done.

Rep. Axne was at Crescent Fire Hall on Wednesday morning taking concerns from the people there. The major concern was with how long it is going to take to get the levees fixed.

"There's money to build up the interstate. There's money for crop insurance. There's money from FEMA. Why isn't there money to build the levee?” one flood victim said.

Pottawattamie County is in need of that money. The levees here are not funded by the Corps of Engineers. The county owns them, and it doesn’t have a big enough tax base to pay for the cost of repairs.

Axne says the system needs to change.

"That means we need to be more flexible at the Federal level to look at the picture holistically,” Axne said.

With more floodwaters expected in the spring, Pottawattamie County’s Emergency Management director says they can't wait for the entire system to change. Doug Reed says the $3 billion in federal disaster relief funds need to get here now.

"We could do a lot more with that money right now with that money appropriated in a manner that it comes to a proven organizational,” said Reed.

Axne said she won't be able to get all of the funding directed locally but will work to get some of it on the move.

"We might be able to be a bit more flexible within the language of the disaster bill to find an opportunity to put more money into the hands of the people on the ground here,” Axne said.

Axne said she's also going to look into the way the Corps of Engineers has been managing the dams up north, another major concern for the people down here.