Eight years ago this month, a devastating flood spread throughout our state. In its wake, homes, buildings, and communities were destroyed, but Iowans did not give up hope. There were Iowans who lost everything, but we did as we always do when things get tough, we banded together, and have come a long way on the road toward full recovery. We saw neighbors helping neighbors, strangers showed up with shovels to help muck up basements; and first responders worked around the clock to ensure no lives were lost. We also witnessed firsthand the long-lasting repercussions from flooding and the need to do more to predict, prevent and recover from them. Unfortunately, there is still no national-level, comprehensive effort to research flood related issues.
To help communities facing the threat of flooding, I’ve been working hard to sandbag gaps in the way our nation prepares for and addresses floods. Today, I am proud to introduce the National Flood Research and Education Act (NFREA). This legislation would establish the first National Flood Research and Education Center (NFREC) under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NFREC would conduct research to advance the understanding of the causes of flooding, flood prevention and other flood-related issues. Flooding can lead to the loss of lives and cause billions of dollars in damage, which is why these issues require a national-level, comprehensive and collaborative research effort. We must develop the best policies to help prevent future damage nationwide.
While eight years may seem like a long time, many Iowa communities are still rebuilding and working to mitigate future floods. I am hopeful Congress will act on my bill to establish the National Flood Research and Education Center, so communities throughout Iowa and the nation will be able to better predict, prepare, prevent and recover from future floods.
Iowa’s Second District