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Branstad Looks at Eastern Iowa Flooding

Updated: Tuesday, June 4 2013, 07:52 AM CDT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Governor Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa, steps onto Eastern Iowa soil Monday to assess the flood situation.

“It gives us an opportunity to review the progress that’s been made,” Gov. Branstad said.

Progress -- because the efforts to hold back the water this year show great improvement from 2008.

“It seems like each time we get just a little better and more efficient,” Gov. Branstad said.

In Coralville, flood barriers protected low-lying areas and businesses.

Other government officials said the governor’s eyes are what could ultimately determine permanent flood protection there.

“So that in the future, we can eliminate the need for temporary barriers,” said Ellen Habel, Coralville assistant city administrator.

Johnson County spent $1 million alone to fight the floods and hopes to recuperate that.

“He’s the guy that’s going to make the case to the president, so it’s very important that he understands the magnitude of it,” said Dave Wilson, Johnson County Emergency Management.

At the University of Iowa, President Sally Mason shows the governor the 7-mile barrier crews set up in three days time. The university spent $5 million preparing and will look to get some of that back as well.

“Honestly, given the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage that we suffered in 2008, the $5 million cost to protect the campus seems very small to me right now,” President Sally Mason said.

“There will be damage. There’s no question, but the really good thing about all this, I think, is the lessons that have been learned,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack, (D) Iowa.

Gov. Branstad said one of those lessons may be that federal and state governments start budgeting for disasters.

“To have a certain amount of funds set aside specifically to deal with emergencies,” he said. “We need to recognize that every year, there’s going to be some emergencies.”

Branstad Looks at Eastern Iowa Flooding

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