U.S. President George Bush will visit the Midwest state of Iowa
Thursday to inspect damage from major flooding along the Mississippi
River. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Mr. Bush
says he will work with Congress to replenish funds used to help those
affected by natural disaster.
Federal officials briefed the
president on efforts to shore-up levees along the Mississippi River and
help those displaced by the flooding. Crews along the river have been
working feverishly stacking sandbags to keep the water from spilling
out into low lying areas.
Speaking to reporters after that
briefing, Mr. Bush said there has been close coordination between
federal and state authorities.
"We're in constant contact with
people on the ground to help make sure that we save lives," he said.
"Now that the water is beginning to recede, the question is how do we
help with the recovery?"
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is
still assessing the economic impact of the flooding. President Bush
says he understands many people are upset about loosing their homes and
"We are worried about farmers and ranchers. The
country that is being affected by these floods has got a lot of farm
country, a lot people raising livestock," he said.
are reinforcing levees in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri to prevent
further damage from river water that has already closed bridges and
President Bush said there is enough money in a
federal emergency fund to pay for the clean-up and help those affected
by the flooding. He will work with lawmakers to ensure those funds are
replaced ahead of another natural disaster.
need to worry about working with the White House on this because we
think the supplemental is the way to go," he said. "What they do need
to worry about is making sure there is enough but not too much money in
the fund so that we can say we've done our job."
The president will visit Iowa Thursday to meet with some of those affected by the flooding.