'We feel forgotten': Senator Ernst visits Butler County as towns - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

'We feel forgotten': Senator Ernst visits Butler County as towns struggle to recover 1 year after flood

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As part of her 99 county tour, Senator Joni Ernst checked in with Butler County and how they are recovering one year after destructive flooding.

During the floods of 2016, Butler County took on some of the worst destruction. 13 months later, the water is gone, but the damage is still there.

Clarksville Mayor Val Swinton told Senator Ernst that many families in town have been waiting for promised help from FEMA.

He said, "Because we are from a small town, we kind of feel like we are not important. We feel forgotten."

Mitch Nordmeyer of Butler County Emergency Management says more than 270 homes in the county were affected by the floods, 20 of which qualified for buyouts but nothing has been completed still.

He said, "We have got to explain to these people why we are not getting help and not just tell them why we are not, but what we are going to do moving forward. If there's nothing, tell them...for God's sake, don't just hang them out to dry."

Senator Ernst saying she feels for the families affected.

"A number of these families are not only paying the mortgages for homes that were flooded, but rent or possibly even buying another home at the same time," she said.

Many county officials are now worried the state of Iowa has been pushed to the side after recent devastation down south from multiple hurricanes. Phone calls to FEMA have gone unanswered. 

Senator Ernst said, "There is so much attention focused on the hurricanes that hit lately, which has been horrible, but we can never forget that there is still ongoing responses to federal disasters in our communities in the Midwest."

Senator Ernst telling officials that she will work to make sure Iowa is not forgotten saying, "We will do that follow-up with FEMA to make sure they are not forgetting about these families. It's important that they close these actions out before they are jumping into other situations.

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