The federal government may have to step in with extra resources to help states like Nebraska and Iowa recover from flood damage. Floodwaters are still receding in the wake of the “bomb cyclone” that hit Midwest states hard and left behind large-scale damage.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told the Fox Business Network that the existing safety net programs probably won’t be enough to cover the catastrophic damage. “Hopefully, we’ll have a supplemental disaster bill out of Congress very soon,” Perdue said. “This may be included in that as well.”
Nebraska Agriculture Director Steve Wellman said, “It’s hundreds of millions of dollars, approaching a billion dollars of impact straight to agriculture.” Politico reports the damage totals could exceed $400 million in livestock losses and $440 million for crop farmers, who could be forced to delay or even cancel planting entirely. Craig Head of the Nebraska Farm Bureau said, “Those are very early estimates. They don’t even account for the damage done to roads, bridges, barns, fences, and other infrastructure.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said she’s seeking federal aid as soon as possible, citing ruined grain bins and lost livestock. The Des Moines Register reported it’s too soon to know the scope of the damage. “Some farms have been completely destroyed,” Wellman said. “We’ll rebound as best we can.”