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Rep. Axne outlines Iowa benefits in WRDA bill

Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne

Iowa Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne is among the supporters of the recently approved Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020.

Last week, the $9.9 billion WRDA legislation received bipartisan support in the US House. Axne says the bill will directly impact Iowans, especially those who live in communities like Hamburg, which was forced by the US Army Corps of Engineers to remove reinforcements from their “Ditch 6 Levee” following Missouri River flooding in 2011, only to be swamped with floodwaters in 2019.

“Nearly a decade ago, when Hamburg was told to come up with $5.6 million or tear down a temporary levee that provides a protection, they had to tear it down,” Axne said. “That type of language is not going to be in there anymore. We’re going to make sure that reasonable things happen to keep them safe.”

Axne says the WRDA legislation also includes flood control measures that will benefit other areas of Iowa.

“It would increase adjustments for the federal cost share of inland waterways projects, to develop some of the critical infrastructure that’s needed on the Mississippi,” she said. “We addressed issues in Des Moines with the Birdland Levee. We had the language that directs the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the comprehensive Lower Missouri River Basin Study.”

Axne further elaborated on the importance of the the river basin study.

“Certainly, what we saw in our floods a couple of years ago,” said Axne, “was that we had structural pieces put in place within the Army Corps of Engineers authority that kept us from building what we needed to keep people in those areas safe, and keep the water from going where it did. We’ve got to get this study done, so that we can make sure the decisions being made, and the many aspects that the Army Corps of Engineers does look at when they control water fixes the issues to keep people safe first.”

The legislation heads to the President’s desk for his signature.