BV Flood Damage, Assistance Available

Buena Vista County is one of 41 counties in the state included in the Governor’s Flooding Proclamation… and some assistance may be available for those with damages.

Emergency management coordinator Aimee Barritt says the proclamation means Buena Vista County is eligible for the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program… which provides grants of up to five-thousand dollars for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food and temporary housing expenses. It can also cover furnaces, water heaters, and other items damaged or destroyed by flooding. Barritt says if you have damages to your home as a result of floods, rain, snow melt, or associated run-off, you may be eligible. To apply for assistance, Buena Vista County residents must contact Upper Des Moines Opportunity in Storm Lake.

Barritt says damage assessments will have to be made in the county… but the majority of the damages are to secondary roads. There are concerns about gravel washed from roads even if the roads weren’t under water. She notes Sioux Rapids seems to have the most damage to city facilities. Assessment is also underway at the county park at Linn Grove, where Barritt notes repairs hadn’t yet been made from flood damage last year.

County engineer Bret Wilkinson says water continues over the road in many locations, and the upper reaches of the North Raccoon River were still rising as of Monday. He says the gravel roads aren’t getting worse, but they have a lot of things to fix. Wilkinson says the gravel roads are fairly safe for cars, but there are problems with heavier vehicles. He suggests moving heavy loads in the early morning… and avoiding gravel roads when possible.