DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Despite a spate of heavy rains and flooding in recent years, Iowa officials have little idea how much it would cost to protect homes, schools factories and other infrastructure, let alone how to pay for it.
The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa cities and towns have compiled $1.4 billion in plans to protect themselves from flooding. The plans call for buying homes and businesses near rivers, building levees and flood walls and better protecting utilities.
But the state hasn’t aggressively pushed for wetlands, detention ponds and other upstream structures that can significantly reduce flooding risks.
Iowa state Sen. Rob Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, says some lawmakers have discussed the need, but the message got lost amid intense budget fights.