The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation said on Monday that flood waters have claimed about 20 percent of grain acres in Iowa. That’s about 1.3 million acres of corn and up to 2 million acres of soybeans. Iowa Governor Chet Culver has issued a disaster proclamation for 83 counties. The governor's proclamation initiates Iowa's individual disaster assistance program, which helps people with low incomes.
"Nearly one third of Iowa is already under water and water levels continue to rise," said U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R- Iowa), urging federal financial assistance for his state. On Sunday, after touring some of the worst flooded areas, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D- Iowa), announced a federal disaster declaration for 13 Iowa counties - bringing the number of counties under this designation to 24. Now that the counties have been declared, residents and businesses can begin applying for federal disaster assistance.
Flood damage to Iowa's bridges, highways, roads and railroad tracks is worse than 1993, when every county in that state was declared a disaster area, an Iowa transportation official said on Monday.
The state still has no official tally of how many bridges and miles of roadway have been knocked out by the catastrophic flooding of the past week, Dena M. Gray-Fisher, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said. But, she said, the damage has eclipsed the damage that occurred 15 years ago, which the U.S. government estimated at almost $20 billion. She also said the state's rail network was particularly hard hit, with tracks and bridges, including a span near Deere & Co's tractor factory in Waterloo, swept away.
Thousands of people in the flood region, which encompasses Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, have been displaced. The first city to report flooding was Charles City, Iowa, on June 8.