Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $10 million in funding for repairing damaged levees
Multiple states. such as Iowa and Missouri, have prepared funding for future flood control. According to The Associated Press (AP), the state of Iowa has put aside $15 million to help local governments recover and protect against future flooding.
Missouri also allotted funding to fight flooding, including $2 million for a floodwall. According to AP, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced $10 million in funding will go toward repairing damaged levees.
“What is going on in the country right now is that we are having basically an awakening to the necessity and importance of waterway infrastructure,” said Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, according to AP.
Repeated flooding in the U.S. has motivated these recent efforts, according to AP. Texas residents–many of whom were affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017–will vote on whether to create a fund dedicated for flood control this November.
According to AP, many states have relied on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to aid in recovery efforts for damaged infrastructure. Now, some states are debating if they should supplement federal money with their own to help rebuilding and avoid future flood damage. According to AP, this may include “relocating homes, elevating roads and bridges, strengthening levees and creating natural wetlands” that may divert floodwaters from the places of residence and work.
Approximately $1.2 billion in damage to roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure has been due to flooding and storms in 24 states during the first half of 2019, according to AP.
“There are states who are realizing that they have an obligation to step up here, that flooding is really a state and local problem, and the federal taxpayer is not going to totally bail us out. We need to be thinking ahead and helping ourselves,” said Larry Larson, a former director and senior policy adviser for the Assn. of State Floodplain Managers, according to AP.