Resolution Recommits House to Assisting the Rebuilding Efforts of Flood Victims
The House of Representatives is set to pass legislation tomorrow authored by U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (WI-3), and Tim Walz (MN-1). House Resolution 657 expresses sympathy for victims of the August floods that ravaged the Midwest and expresses gratitude for the emergency personnel, local officials, business owners, nonprofit organizations, and citizens who contributed their time and resources to the flood recovery efforts. The resolution will be taken up under a "suspension of the rules," a legislative method used to pass legislation that expects unanimous consent.
"The damage sustained by the Midwest flood was nothing short of devastating," said Rep. Kind, who represents a large portion of southwest Wisconsin hard hit by the floods. "But as we have seen before, out of great tragedy comes great triumph, and I am pleased that this resolution will recognize the effective, coordinated response by everyone from government agencies and local officials, to the friends and neighbors of flood victims. This resolution is an appropriate testament to their service, and illustrates the continued commitment of the U.S. Congress to help them rebuild their communities and their lives."
During August 2007, flooding resulting from as much as 18 inches of rain in Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois took the lives of 14 people. Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio have been declared Major Disasters by President Bush as a result of the storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has had a presence in the affected communities since August and is currently working with victims of the flood, providing financial assistance to help rebuild infrastructure, homes, and businesses. According to FEMA, in Wisconsin alone, 4,300 homeowners and renters have applied for federal disaster grants in 14 southern counties, and nearly $9 million in grants and loans have already been handed out.
"The August floods brought out the best in our communities and it is an honor to serve the people who've given so selflessly of their time and resources," said Congressman Walz, who represents all seven Minnesota counties classified as federal disaster areas due to the flooding. "I've witnessed countless acts of kindness over the course of the last several weeks and it is important that we recognize and remember the courage and relentless commitment of those affected to rebuild the communities of Southeastern Minnesota. This resolution reaffirms that the Members of the House of Representatives will stand with the citizens of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois as they rebuild."
Text of the resolution is available at: http://www.house.gov/kind/pdf/flood.pdf