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Where are all of the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help in restoring Iowa and helping the folks affected by the floods?
Where is all the media asking the tough questions about why the federal government hasn't solved the problem? Asking where the FEMA trucks (and trailers) are?
Why isn't the Federal Government relocating Iowa people to free hotels in Chicago?
When will Spike Lee say that the Federal Government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?
Where are Sean Penn and the Dixie Chicks?
Where are all the looters stealing high-end tennis shoes and big screen television sets?
When will we hear Governor Chet Culver say that he wants to rebuild a 'vanilla' Iowa, because that's the way God wants it?
Where is the hysterical 24/7 media coverage complete with reports of cannibalism?
Where are the people declaring that George Bush hates white, rural people?
How come in 2 weeks, you will never hear about the Iowa flooding ever again?
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — When floodwaters knocked out the water treatment plant in Mason City, Iowa, FEMA rolled into town and promptly set up an account with a Pepsi bottler to supply bottled water. Then FEMA officials moved into a vacant store and began handing out the stuff.
"We saw different FEMA people in and out," City Administrator Brent Trout said. "We really started seeing FEMA people showing up to see what was going on in town and putting out the word on flood assistance."
Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina turned FEMA into a punchline, many homeowners, politicians and community leaders in the flood-stricken Midwest say that so far, the agency is doing a heckuva job — and they mean it.
Up and down the Big Muddy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is being commended for responding quickly and surely.
"The lessons we learned from Katrina we've taken very seriously," said Glenn Cannon, FEMA assistant administrator for disaster operations. He added: "We've changed the way we do business. We don't wait to react."
After Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, FEMA came into New Orleans late and unprepared, and soon became a symbol of government bungling. President Bush's compliment to FEMA Director Michael D. Brown — "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job!" — became a big joke.
Now, storms and flooding in the upper Midwest have left 24 people dead, driven tens of thousands from their homes and caused billions in damage.
After the rain started falling in early June, FEMA arrived with 13 million sandbags to pile onto the levees, 200 generators, and 30 trucks to haul off debris. Across the upper Midwest, the agency has delivered nearly 3.6 million liters of water and 192,000 ready-to-eat meals. About 650 inspectors are working in Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin alone.
In Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin alone, FEMA has received about 45,000 registrations for assistance from disaster victims. The agency has already handed out $81 million in housing assistance funds, said Carlos Castillo, a FEMA official.
Flooded-out homeowners said FEMA has been quick to dispense checks, and leaders in inundated towns in Iowa said the agency wasted little time in assessing damage. That is key to getting federal disaster declarations that trigger eligibility for assistance, including money to help repair or replace a home.
"They have been trying hard to be proactive throughout this crisis, and had people on site almost immediately after the flooding began," said Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge.
Senators on both sides of the river, Missouri's Claire McCaskill and Illinois' Dick Durbin, Democrats who rarely miss a chance to criticize the Bush administration, are offering good early reviews of FEMA's response to this disaster.
"I think they've made a world of improvement both in terms of their preparedness and in terms of their attitude," McCaskill said. "My sense is they are no longer thinking they can deliver disaster relief from a cubicle in Virginia and are fully engaged on the ground."
FEMA has had a presence in the Midwest since December, when severe ice storms caused widespread damage in Missouri. Field desks were set up after torrential rains and flooding in Missouri in March, and after tornadoes devastated parts of several central states, including Iowa and Missouri, later in the spring.
Officials from the federal agency began arriving at Missouri flood sites such as Canton and Hannibal more than a week before the river's crest, serving as advisers to state and local emergency authorities.
"It just kept going. You had the tornadoes and then the floods," FEMA spokesman Jim Homstad said.
Still, the disaster is far from over. Keithsburg, Ill., Mayor Jim Stewart said the real test will be how the agency that bought out 108 properties after the Great Flood of '93 flood helps the town get back on its feet again.
"We need that help this time," Stewart said. "We're going to be begging and pleading for that help from FEMA."
In hard-hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the bursting Cedar River forced 25,000 of the town's 125,000 residents to evacuate, the floodwaters swamped the home of 32-year-old Amber DeWald, and everything but the foundation will probably have to be demolished.
She said she heard from FEMA soon after she contacted the agency and is already on track to receive rental assistance and other benefits.
"They might not be visible out on the streets," she said, "but I feel they've been doing an excellent job."
Don Weaver's home in Cedar Rapids was condemned after the flood collapsed a wall. The FEMA employee he worked with told him that when his house was safe enough to enter, another inspector would come out and help him apply for assistance. In the meantime, Weaver, 54, has already gotten his first $100 FEMA rental-assistance check.
One thing the Midwest probably won't see will be FEMA trailer parks similar to those that sprang up after Katrina. The agency said it believes there is ample existing housing for those whose homes will need extensive repairs or are beyond hope.
FEMA's grades are not report-card perfect. Mike and Jeanna White had deep floodwaters in the first floor of their Cedar Rapids home, so they called FEMA. More than a week later, they had heard nothing back.
"I know they're probably dealing with a lot of people and they're really busy," Mike White said. "I thought that after Katrina they'd be a lot more responsive, move a lot quicker to help folks."
Auto body worker Jeremy Schirm, 36, said floodwaters got within 7 inches of the ceiling in the basement housing his son's room. FEMA, he said, has been uncooperative.
"I'm still waiting to hear a response from them," he said. "I always thought FEMA was there to help out flood victims. But from kind of talking to them, they're not going to do nothing."
But in East St. Louis, city disaster services coordinator Rocco Goins said three FEMA inspectors arrived not long after questions started swirling about whether the levee protecting the impoverished city could withstand the surging Mississippi River. They checked the integrity of the levee, ensured it was sound and offered support.
"I very much give FEMA their props," Goins said. "What happened in Katrina didn't happen here. In my opinion, FEMA was totally on top of it."
Now my comments:
The media portrayed whites as "foragers and scavangers" and blacks as "looters" when showing both holding food above water in pictures. Police officers were stealing and raping. National Guard were pictured in flooding areas within a day or so of Iowa. A week 1/2 or longer for New Orleans. 24 died (sad) in Iowa, thousands in New Orleans. I am from Louisiana, my family lives in Metairie. I don't find this political and racial jab at New Orleans funny or enlightening at all. I know you did not write this Jeffro....so no hard feelings. But I wonder if you share the opinion of thise author.
Another news report:
Soldiers from 1138th Transportation Company, based at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., fill sandbags June 15, 2008, in Clarksville, Mo., an area expected to get more flood water this week.
The Illinois and Missouri rivers flow into the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis. Flooding on those rivers is not as bad as the record levels of 1993, according to local news reports. In St. Louis, flood waters are expected to crest at 39.4 feet June 20, about 10 feet below the 1993 record.
In Illinois, 400 Guard soldiers and airmen were mobilized over the weekend to work on the levees north and south of Quincy, Ill. About 100 Air National Guard personnel from 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield, 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria, and 126th Air Refueling Wing from Scott Air Force Base were mobilized yesterday and directed to the Sny Island Levee, which stretches for more than 50 miles in Adams and Pike counties.
The soldiers and airmen are expected to fill 500,000 sandbags today as they help fortify levees along a 15-mile stretch on their side of the swollen Mississippi River near Quincy.
"Guardsmen are working with local volunteers, Illinois Emergency Management Agency personnel, local authorities and other state agencies making heroic efforts to protect critical infrastructures and lives," said Army Maj. Gen. William Enyart, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard. "[We] have the full support of the governor, state legislators and federal official in coping with the largest flood since the record-breaking flood of 1993."
Enyart said more National Guard troops are available if needed.
In Missouri, about 200 soldiers are monitoring the levees in Canton and West Quincy and sandbagging in Canton, Hannibal and Clarksville. Liaison officers are working with officials in Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike and Lincoln counties.
An additional 65 soldiers will be mobilized today to support the communities of Clarksville and Hannibal, said Army Capt. Tammy Spicer, the state public affairs officer. Missouri National Guard units supporting the flood response efforts include 1438th Engineer Company from Macon and Kirksville, 1138th Transportation Company from Jefferson Barracks and Centertown, 835th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion from Jefferson City, and 70th Troop Command and 1035th Maintenance Company, both from Jefferson Barracks.
"The Missouri National Guard has a trained, disciplined force ready to meet the challenge of the rising waters," said Army Maj. Gen. King Sidwell, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. The mobilizations are a result of an executive order signed by Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt on June 11. They will remain on duty until released by local authorities and the governor.
Okay folks I am really dumb, if raising waters are a problem why can dredging be done to make it deeper so water might not rise to flood stages, like I said I am not an engineer, and I am certainly not a scholar at this stuff.
Did Bobbi answer your questions?
Bobbi John R the facts are that in the katrina hurrican disaster there were dozens perhaps hundred s of school busses sitting days before the storm hit. The mayor of New Orleans did nothing to use then to get the people to higher ground, He is a democrat and a black man. No one questioned his judgement in doing nothing. You say it took a week and a half for the Louisiana National Guard to get there. All that required was an order from the governor of Louisiana. At at that time a Democrat female. Once again no one questioned her judgement. Th U S Navy had three ships coming in behind the storm , a hospital ship helicopter ship amd a supply ship. the states of louisiana put obstacles in the way of the navy using those ships. It wasnt until The Presidnt federaized the national Guard and put the 3rd army commander in command that the problems were straightened out.
The people were given debit cards so they would have some money to buy the things they needed. Most of those cards bought big screen tvs trips to vegas diamond rings. so the cards were withdrawn. Yes there is great big difference in the two situations mostly the people. Like it or not.
I bet God caused that hurricane just to show how terrible and incompetent those democrats are.
"Mostly the people" says our racist poster Duane. Well, actually, there is some truth there. The people in the Iowa situation had days to watch a slowly rising river and to determine to get out of the way. And they had the means to get out of the way - most of the affected areas in Iowa were sparsely populated and mostly rural. The people living there had personal transportation to leave when they wanted - cars, trucks, even boats.
Unlike New Orleans, Iowa had no large contingent of poor people who lacked personal transportation to escape.
As for New Orleans, about 1.3 million people did evacuate, and the ones who did not were mostly unable to. As already mentioned, they had no personal vehicles and all public transportation had been shut down. If they had vehicles, they had no money for hotels, etc.
They also had no experience with category 5 hurricanes or disastrous levee breaches. To the contrary, they had experience with a number of close passes that, despite early warnings, turned out to be nothing but some wind and a lot of rain.
My wife and I have friends - a woman and her three sons - who thought they could ride out Katrina just like they had the other storms that had come through in previous years. They survived by retreating to their attic. When it got light, the went out a window and swam to some high ground in a park several blocks away.
Over 1800 people died and more than 700 are still missing. Sure, Katrina was the victim's fault.
There is no comparison between Katrina, which happened over a period of hours and the Iowa floods, which happened over a period of 10 days to 2 weeks.
And anybody who tries to compare them is just a mean-spirited fool.
Robert I think there is a reason why dredging will not prevent the problem; but I am also too dumb to explain why. I had a bar room buddy, who was an engineer, explain it to me years ago, (During the last major Mid-west floods) and it seemed to make sense. I think it had to do with the Laws of Hydraulics, but I've forgotten the specifics. HEY! I did say he was a BAR ROOM buddy.
Jack B if telling the truth is racist so be it. You have the view that you and you alone have the ability to decide what is truth and what is not truth. pehaps that came with that butter bar the army gave you a long time ago.
Hurricane katrina did not suddenly appear on the horizon in a matter of minutes tit was working its way through the caribean sea over a matter of a week or more gaining strength. Three days before it hit Bush told the people yo get of its way. There were hundreds of school buses that the amyor of new Orleans) (one ray nagin) did nothing to to use to evacuaye the people. so those buses were flooded out. The people down there were given debit cards so tyhey could have money and most of those cards were used not for food blankets neccesitys but for vegas trips jewelry booze. so those cards were withdrawn. It was an effort by the U S people to help the people victimized by the storm which was used wronly by too many of the Mew Orleans people probably because they were 2nd and 3rd generation welfare recepients .
And they are lifelong democrats so they are connditioned to never do anything for themselves.
Im pretty sure dredging is used on the Missisipi. In areas to keep the channelopen for barge traffic. But it would be a continous porcess. There is a tremendous amount of sediment going into it from all its tributarys. The natural way for the river to act is for it to go out of its channel deposit that sediment( thats the reason that land is so fertile )
onto its flood plain. Then as it recedes go back to its channel, Building levees is nothing more than putting it into a pipe. Going against the natural order of things . Now while that will work most of the time nature will eventually reclaim what is its own.
Thank you, Duane, for making my point so well. Nobody who posts here is either more mean spirited or a greater fool than you.
You say that Bush told people to get out of the way 3 days before Katrina hit. I think that you are wrong about that. Hell, even when Bush declared a State of Emergency for Louisiana, his declaration did NOT INCLUDE ANY OF LOUISIANA'S COSTAL PARISHES! Note, however, that he did include the coastal parts of Mississippi where his buddy Republican governor Haley Barbour was in charge.
But even if Bush did say that folks should get our of Katrina's way three days before she hit, it wouldn't have meant anything to hardly anybody. Three days before it hit, Katrina was a category 2 hurrican lying just off Florida's SW coast. The hurricane's projected path included nearly the entire Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to the middle of Louisiana. No way in hell were millions of people going to evacuate when no one could tell them for sure that the hurricane was coming their way.
And even more to the point, the most likely landfall for Katrina's center at that point was near the Mississppi/Alabama border - not a location that would induce New Orleans folk to evacuate.
That the Bush Administration made just a big a screw up of recovery after they had allowed people to die needlessly is not the storm victim's fault, either.
Yes, people at all levels made mistakes - so what. Once the disaster occurs, the proper course of action is to save lives and minimize suffering. You can assess blame and take corrective actions after the fact.
Where are all the people who can really make a difference to help all the suffering people of Zimbabwe while they are being forced to vote for Mugabe??
and we have problems?
at least we are not beaten, tortured, raped or killed if we dont go the way THEY want.
meant to add.....
please get it into perspective guys
UMmmmmmmm Duane, don't begin to tell me about Katrina and New Orleans. I spent half of my life in Louisiana near or in New Orleans off and on. Blah, blah, blah. You are racist, not because you tell the truth, but because you take the truth and twist it to fit your views and agenda and omit the parts that you refuse to see and somehow then tie it to a person's race. THE ONLY TIME RACE/HERITAGE IS RELEVANT TO ANYTHING IS WHEN CERTAIN DISEASES ARE HEREDITARY SUCH AS SICKLE CELL OR TAYSAC's DISEASE (SP) AND WHEN YOU ARE LEARNING ABOUT YOUR ANCESTORY FOR FAMILY LINEAGE. THE REST IS ALL A PLOY TO DIVERSIFY AND DIVIDE OTHERS WHICH ALWAYS LEADS TO IGNORANCE AND WARS. You probably did not bother to read ANYTHING about Katrina, you just instantly had an opinion on the disaster and decided to torture us with your political VOODOO.
And any death that is not natural is all in perspective. Murder by ignorance or murder by guns, it's all still murder. Africa, New Orleans, it's all the same. Those people who were left to die in New Orleans were murdered, and fault started from the bottom and goes all the way to the top as far as I'm concerned. Many people have blood on their hands. We should have had trials and not press releases and sound bites from the Mayor's office and Presidents who didn't bother to leave their vacations while an entire city was lost. They all knew what was at stake. New Orleans is below sea level for pete's sake. It doesn't take a genius to see that protection from flooding is the first priority for the city. You can't even bury a body underground for fear that rains will wash it back up.
Bob could tell you about my time in Zimbabwe. I just chose to talk about this topic since it was brought up.
bob has told you about your time in africa. my post was not meant to single you out, it was for everyone there.
No offence taken. I just wasn't sure if he had told that I shared your feelings on Africa.
Jack B you posted:
"The people in the Iowa situation had days to watch a slowly rising river and to determine to get out of the way. And they had the means to get out of the way - most of the affected areas in Iowa were sparsely populated and mostly rural. The people living there had personal transportation to leave when they wanted - cars, trucks, even boats."
Not every town had days, where I live, we had close to 8 inches in a few short hours and even tho we are not near a river, we had flooding issues.....ground water and sewer backage in basements, streets closed, several people were evacuated to storm shelters, etc. We were not as bad as a town 22 miles from here which is on a river, it flooded during this same storm, no warning, businesses and homes were flooded to the roofs. Another storm dropped another 4 - 6 inches the next day. Not all areas were "sparsely populated and mostly rural."
True many cities did have the avantage of watching the river rise, but as I have stated, not all had the advanced warning.
As for New Orleans? Different time, different circumstance.
Lynne, yes, I know that when a flood area covers hundreds of square miles there can always be exceptions to any rule.
But I dare say that any place that flooded more or less instantly did so for the same reason that New Orleans did - because a levee gave way. Not because of weather that had been predicted at least a day ahead.
"But I dare say that any place that flooded more or less instantly did so for the same reason that New Orleans did - because a levee gave way. Not because of weather that had been predicted at least a day ahead."
Actually Jack, that is not entirely true. Sure, rain and thunderstorms were predicted ahead of time, but the amount of rain was much more then thought (up to 12 inches plus in a two day period in some areas). In and around our area no levee gave way, it was due entirely to an over saturated ground (we had been having lots of rain prior to this storm), too much heavy rain in a short period, and not to mention that the sewers could not keep up causing sewage back-up in basements along with ground water pouring in. Many basements here were full to the ceiling and we have several foundations that are caving in due to the pressure of the wet heavy dirt.
Remember also, that we had tornadoes at the same time causing other damage and no matter how you cut it, you don't have prior notice of when and where they will set down. The tornadoes did not have anything to due with the flooding other then the storms they brought with them.
I said the blame started at the bottom and went all the way to the top. Bottom implies local officials, police, mayors, governors, etc and goes to Bush himself. See Duane, you are the only one who excluded your buddy in blame. I held no favoritism for anyone. It is you, not I, who is in error. But at this point, I don't expect you to see it, never mind admitting to it. You are not sentient enough to understand what I wrote. Though this will not stop you from responding to it none the less...
You can't drege in a flood river. The current in a flooded river is moving much faster because there is a lot more water than when the river is at normal level. Additionally dreging is long slow process. Not to mention that there is not enough dreging equipement in the entire United States to attempt to dreging one flooded river let alone three rivers. The Mississippi, the Illinois, and the Missouri.
You are correct that the leveies gave way. The rivers have been high for months, since early March and are still high. The water penetrated through the ground and came up behind the leveies in many places weaking and then breeching the leveis.
Thousands and thousands of volunteers throughout Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois filled millions on millions of sandbags to reinforce leveies, build levies higher, and to build levies to protect various places. The force and sheer weight of water overcame most of these efforts. But the number of volunteers that gave it their all in the heat and sun was outstanding. People jumped in to help people that they did not even know and damed sure didn't know what their politics were.
There was not a problem with looting and all of the National Guard troops and equipement was used reinforce and support the leveis and help with rescues.
As far as FEMA, most people haven't seen much of them. It's neighbors and families helping neighbors and family.
And you have never had a New Orleans like event - a levy breech that happened at night in the middle of a hurricane and which killed more than 1500 people overnight and left thousands more stranded with very little in the way of resources to help either themselves or one another.
And I hope to hell that people learned something from what happened in New Orleans. If a similar event were to happen again, America might as well hang its head and quit.