Archive for July, 2008

Update: Flooding in America’s Heartland

July 15th, 2008

We’ve been a bit busy around here with the Midwest floods and all.  The good news is, the water is receding, and we are working with key stakeholders on a long term recovery plan for the people in America’s Heartland.

I just want to say how impressed I am with the selflessness and fortitude of the people I met on my trips out there during the height of the disaster. It’s humbling to see so many people who, in the most difficult of circumstances, still reach out to help their neighbors by filling sandbags and floodfighting. I saw good  people pulling together in a most extraordinary way!

One amazing case in point – Clarksville, Missouri. I toured this historic little river town-a town with no levee protection- with their courageous mayor. The people of Clarksville really pulled together and built a temporary levee of sandbags – and it held. Some of the homes were impacted, but the passion and hard work of the folks there really saved their downtown area. It was an amazing sight. 

This is a picture of me getting interviewed by an Associated Press reporter, with the sandbag levee behind us

This is me doing an interview with an AP reporter, Jim Salter, with the "sandbag levee" behind us

I want to offer special recognition to the National Guard units from all of the states – exceptional work!

And our Corps employees did us proud- working around the clock to “get ‘er done”: from shoring up levees, to inspecting dams, to providing water, temporary power and housing assistance.  They answered the call! The rebuilding effort continues today. I just heard that in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we’re building a modular village of 35 buildings to house the school district employees in time for the new school year.

My thoughts and prayers remain with all the people who were impacted by the flooding, and I want to assure you that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will stand with you through this recovery!

Emergency Response, Levees , , , , ,