U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, amidst a spring of flooding across Iowa, is continuing forward on her pledge to address concerns with flood control and disaster recovery.
“The recovery from this spring’s devastation remains top of mind for me,” Ernst said during a June 20 call with reporters.
Ernst explained that after encouraging the president to extend the incident period for Iowa’s federal disaster declaration, the administration followed through. Iowa is in a unique situation, with the flooding in the southwestern part of the state in March and again in the eastern part of the state in May, occurring after the incident period had closed. As of June 19, the incident period was extended.
“This is a rare instance,” said Ernst. “It is not common for FEMA to reopen an incident period. This is really welcome news.”
Ernst also addressed her work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps recently responded to a letter sent by Ernst and pledged to address communication issues with local levee sponsors immediately. They will conduct weekly calls with local level sponsors through the end of the 2019 flood seasons.
In addition, Ernst is co-sponsoring two bills that will ensure the Corps prioritizes Iowans and gives them a stronger voice in the Corps’ decision making.
“I’m fighting to make sure the Corps puts flood control and Iowa families and communities first and gives our local experts a seat at the table when it comes to their decision making,” said Ernst. “Iowans should have the peace of mind knowing the Corps is not only hearing their needs, but prioritizing them.”
Ernst continued to say that she, alongside other downstream Senators, are concerned about the Corps’ management of the rivers. They are going to continue working on these bills to reach a positive outcome for those affected by the recent flooding.
“Those of us that are working on these bills need to paint a very clear picture about what we have seen with our families and our constituents, and the damage that has been done time and time again, because we do not have a prioritized list for the Army Corps of Engineers,” Ernst said. “Guaranteed, I will be representing my constituents moving forward.”