(Des Moines) -- A diverse group of state and local officials comprise Iowa's Flood Recovery Advisory Board.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the board's membership Monday. It was created by executive order to help coordinate a comprehensive flood recovery and rebuilding effort. In addition to Reynolds and Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig, the members include State Representative Dave Sieck, whose Mills County farm was among those impacted by the March flooding. Sieck described the damage in an interview on KMA's "Morning Line" program earlier this month.
"We had to move most of our equipment out," said Sieck, "had two sheds with about three foot of water in them, with some stuff in them--but nothing major. We lost about one bin of corn that my brother and I had together that had about 6-7,000 bushels in it. We were just too busy, and didn't have time. We thought we had another day to get the corn out."
Another board member is Mills County Economic Development Foundation Director Rick Allely, who talked about the flood's impact on businesses and industries on a recent "Morning Line" interview. Allely says businesses not directly placed underwater were touched in other ways. For example. he says many stores and restaurants in the Glenwood area were impacted by a disruption of water services following the shutdown of Glenwood Municipal Utilities' water plant due to flooding.
"That not only impacted the businesses out there in Pacific Junction, and at the I-29/Highway 34 corridor," said Allely, "but it also impacted those in Glenwood, itself--Main Street businesses--as a result of not having water in the restaurants and the coffee shops. They couldn't open."
Despite the flooding, Allely believes the county will rebound, and will continue efforts to attract new economic development opportunities.
"We have stayed the course--as have the developers," he said. "This is just a bump in the road. When you look at communities like Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Grand Island, Nebraska that have historic large impacts to natural disasters, and you look at how they bounce back. You use it to identify your weaknesses, and build upon the work already completed."
Other board members include Fremont County farmer Leo Ettleman, president of Responsible River Management--a victims' advocacy group formed after the 2011 flooding, and Larry Winum, president and CEO of Glenwood State Bank. As president of the Mills County Economic Development Foundation, Winum spearheaded efforts to develop the Love's Truck Stop along the Interstate 29/Highway 34 business corridor--another area heavily damaged in the flooding. Winum was also a key individual pushing for construction of the Highway 34 bridge connecting Mills County with Nebraska. Mark Ford, people, parts and service director for the Agrivision Equipment Group, rounds out the board's local representation.
State officials named to the board include Joyce Flinn, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend, Iowa National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Connors. Iowa Public Health Department Director Gerd Clabaugh, Dr. John Lawrence, vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach, Dr. Larry Weber, co-founder of the University of Iowa Flood Center, Scott Swenson, regional director of the Iowa Small Business Development Center, and retired FEMA director Mary Day. Ex-officio members include Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne.