WASHINGTON – On the ten year anniversary of the historic Cedar Rapids flood, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) recognized how the community came together to help rebuild, and called on the federal government to better collaborate and reform metrics to ensure that rural areas have the same access to federal funding as coastal areas.
“Ten years ago, the Cedar Rapids community was devastated by flooding. Folks were forced to evacuate, leaving their homes and their businesses under water. The loss to the Cedar Rapids community was $5.4 billion dollars.
“What we saw after the flood embodied the people of Iowa. We saw resilience, kindness and generosity. The community came together to rebuild and help others in need. Now, it is time for the federal government to do their part to help the Cedar Rapids community, with funding so Cedar Rapids can protect itself from future floods. Federal agencies should also better collaborate to reform the flawed benefit-cost ratio (BCR) so that rural communities have the same access to funding as coastal areas. The value of life is the same, whether it’s in California or Iowa.” said Senator Joni Ernst.
Senator Ernst’s leadership efforts to help the Cedar Rapids Community:
September 2016: Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) demanding answers on why flood mitigation projects in the Cedar Rapids region have not been completed.
October 2016: Senators Grassley and Ernst send letter to USACE seeking insight into flawed policy that has led to the downgrading of flood control projects in Iowa cities.
November 2016: Senator Ernst meets with head of USACE to discuss prioritization of Cedar Rapids flood mitigation project.
February 2018: Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley, and Congressman Blum sent a letter to Lieutenant General Semonite and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James requesting further information on how the Army Corps makes certain project funding decisions.
May 2018:America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 was passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and included Ernst provisions addressing the flawed BCR metrics and calling for prioritization of the Cedar Rapids flood control project.
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