Two weeks ago, I found myself in Cedar Rapids doing something I was doing almost exactly five years before filling sandbags with Iowa volunteers who were working tirelessly to protect their community from flooding. It was an eerie reminder of the 2008 flood and its continuing legacy.
The 2008 flood was the worst natural disaster in Iowa history by almost any measure. As rivers like the Cedar, the Wapsipinicon, and the Iowa continued to rise, bridges and roads were washed out, crops were destroyed, and entire communities were under water, leaving thousands homeless and creating unimaginable destruction along the way.
When the water finally receded, Iowa communities began the long road to recovery. We've come a long way in the last five years and made incredible progress rebuilding once-devastated communities and damaged infrastructure. Yet there is still work to be done.
That's why last week, I called on Congress to take a long overdue vote on legislation known as the Water Resources Development Act. The bill is tremendously important to Iowa because it authorizes Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects, including flood protection projects in Cedar Rapids and elsewhere in Iowa. Even though we're five years removed from the 2008 flood, these projects remain uncompleted because Congress has delayed passing this legislation.
When I think about filling sandbags a few weeks ago or five years ago - I'm reminded how in times of need Iowans come together to help each other. Whether it's for a neighbor or a stranger, everyone is willing to lend a helping hand. It's one of the reasons we're able to come out of natural disasters stronger than we were before.
And whether it's a flood, tornado, drought, or another natural disaster, it's a core function of government to provide help in times of crisis. That's why whether we're Republicans or Democrats, I think we can all agree that when disaster strikes, we need to stand together for our neighbors in need.
Recovering from a flood is a daunting task. If you or someone you know has been impacted by the recent floods, my staff and I are here to help. We can help Iowans in need of recovery assistance become familiar with the resources available to help them get back on their feet. You can visit braley.house.gov/flood-resources for more information or contact any of my Iowa offices.