Rebuild Iowa Office to close its doors this summer

The Rebuild Iowa Office, which was established in 2008 to help Iowans recover from flood damage, will close for good on June 30, 2011.

Iowa House and Senate Rebuild Iowa committees already met for the last time in 2010, and are now a part of each house’s Economic Growth Committee.

The downsizing of available government support for future flood prevention across the state is causing some to worry about the areas still suffering across the state.  The Quad-City Times reported on the new approaches to recovery earlier this month.

A little well-timed rain and high water might not be all bad when it comes to convincing the Iowa Legislature to maintain its commitment to disaster preparedness and recovery.

“Memories begin to fade” after a disaster, such as the historic flooding of 2008, said Susan Judkins, a legislative lobbyist for the Rebuild Iowa Office. “I can tell you in 2010, the fact that bad weather and flooding started happening while the legislature was in session probably helped get some things passed.”

Judkins isn’t wishing for more floods or other natural disasters. Instead, she is hoping members of the 2011 General Assembly keep in mind there are presidential disaster declarations open in all 99 Iowa counties. Continue reading

Lawmakers propose plan to fight floods

The Iowa River. Credit: Jim Malewitz

Though many are looking to cut spending in the news legislative session, several Iowa legislators have proposed a $60 million-a-year plan to mitigate future flood damage, the Des Moines Register reports.

Proponents of the plan say that it will save the state money in the long run that would go towards rebuilding after future floods. Continue reading

Anatomy of Iowa Floods: Preparing for the Future – Seminar Series – 2010

Filling the Burlington City Council chambers, Southeast Iowa residents patiently listen to the panel of flood experts in Burlington on June 16, 2010.

Next stop: Red Oak. The Iowa Floods of 2008 are receding into history, but Iowans can learn from them, and from flooding this past summer. That was the message put forth in community seminars sponsored in part by the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research this summer and fall.

Continue reading