Iowa’s Governor Terry Branstad says severe flooding is still happening along the Missouri River, but it hasn’t drawn the same kind of national attention as Hurricane Irene and the flooding it has caused.
“We’ve got a flood that’s been going on a long time here in the Missouri River and it’s gotten very little coverage compared to this one,” Branstad says.
During his weekly news conference, Branstad was asked by a reporter for his reaction to how the national media had gone “bonkers” over the weekend.
“It’s the East Coast. That’s where the national media is headquartered. We think if it happens in the Midwest, we’re fly-over country, you know. I don’t think we get the same treatment they get on the east coast and I guess you can expect that,” Branstad told reporters. “…The East Coast media sometimes doesn’t understand it or get it, what’s going on out here in the heartland, but that’s their problem.”
Branstad did praise public officials on the east coast for the way they’ve handled the hurricane, however.
“I watched the coverage and I would say the governors and mayors and the FEMA people, I think, all worked together in dealing with that so, you know, I don’t begrudge them what they did,” Branstad said. “And I think they did a lot to save lives by encouraging people to evacuate from low-lying areas and places of danger.”
Branstad says Missouri River flooding has been a “very critical situation” since June, and the water is just now beginning to recede. Damage along the river corridor is “substantial and on-going” according to Branstad.