WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal departments and agencies continue to support the states affected by floods and tornadoes in the Midwest, as FEMA Logistics continues to coordinate with the agency’s Region V and Region VII to maintain the flow of resources to Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Kansas.
Meanwhile, FEMA is moving ahead with contingency plans for the provision of resources and assistance that it anticipates may be needed next week, amid concerns about potential flooding along the Lower Mississippi River as flood waters flow south from up river.
The president has approved a major disaster declaration for the State of Wisconsin for weather events that began June 5, 2008. The declaration provides for Individual Assistance for Crawford, Columbia, Sauk, Milwaukee and Vernon counties; and for Hazard Mitigation statewide. The existing federal disaster declaration for Iowa has been expanded to include an additional 15 counties for Individual Assistance and 10 counties for Public Assistance; 14 counties were added in Indiana for Individual Assistance.
FEMA Region V:
The Region has deployed liaison officers to Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) for Public Assistance begin in Indiana and Wisconsin next week. Two members of the Region V Defense Coordinating Element (DCE) are at the Rock Island Arsenal; the Region has dispatched an Emergency Response Team – Advance (from Region I) to the Rock Island Arsenal, arriving tomorrow. At the Region V Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC), a planning cell of Emergency Support Functions, including Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), American Red Cross (ARC), DCE and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), has been established to address future response to needs such as water purity, families separated because of the disaster and pet shelters.
FEMA Region VII:
A major levee in Cedar Rapids and one in Des Moines have been over-topped and breached, with the Des Moines levee breach flooding the Birdland Park Area of the city. Mississippi River navigation is being affected by the closure of locks and dams along the Upper Mississippi, and that the State of Missouri has activated its Emergency Operations Center for 24-hour-per-day operations. River flooding continues on the Missouri River from near Plattsmouth to Nebraska City, Brownville and Rulo.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
Beginning Sunday, most deliveries of water to Iowa will be handled by the USACE, which has activated its Massachusetts-based National Water Team. The mission began Friday, June 13, with the delivery of 220,000 bottles of water; an additional 270,000 are scheduled for delivery by late evening Saturday, June 14. The Corps will begin the delivery of 1.5 million bottles over the next week.
Resources dispatched by FEMA Logistic to assist flood victims in Iowa include 558,000 bottles of water, 470,000 sandbags, 30 leased trailer trucks, 1-50 pack generator, 63,699 packages of Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and five Mobile Disaster Recovery Centers. Deliveries of water to Kansas also are pending.
U.S. Coast Guard:
The USCG has deployed two Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) to Cedar Rapids and two teams to St. Louis, Mo. DART teams are mobile teams that consist of three flat bottom boats and personnel for operations in flooded areas. The USCG has been conducting overview flights to assist in the assessment of flooding in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids; meanwhile the Regions are reporting that the State of Indiana is requesting two hoist-capable helicopters. Coast Guard liaison officers are stationed in the RRCCs at FEMA Region V and Region VII in Chicago and Kansas City. The Coast Guard also has a liaison officer at the Iowa EOC and one at the Cedar Rapids County EOC.
American Red Cross:
The ARC is active in all the affected states, with an estimated 2,100 people committed to the relief effort. Currently, ARC, in coordination with the Southern Baptists relief organization, is moving additional kitchens and supplies to the State of Iowa in order to begin providing 100,000 hot meals per day beginning Tuesday, June 17.
U.S. Department of Transportation:
The Department of Transportation is reporting scores of road closures across the Midwest states and the loss of rail bridges in Dunlap, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.