DES MOINES, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds toured parts of Polk County Monday hit hard by heavy rains and flooding that devastated several homes and businesses over the weekend.
Reynolds visited with residents across the Des Moines-metro who were hit hard by a Saturday storm that left a local sportscaster Larry Cotler dead, after he was swept away by flood waters. She issued disaster proclamations Monday for several central Iowa countries that were affected.
"Everyone needs to be commended in their efforts to get [victims] taken care of," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said it's important to get on the ground and see what's happening first hand. Recovery efforts are already underway.
“I heard stories about neighbor helping neighbor. I always, always hear that. It’s just who we are as Iowans," Reynolds said. "It happened early morning, middle of the night. It just came up so rapidly that as soon as [some people] found out what was going on, they were going down and helping each other.”
Reynolds was also joined by Congressman David Young and other state and local officials, including U.S. Rep. David Young, a Republican representing Iowa's 3rd District, which includes all of the central Iowa areas affected by the storm.
"When these disasters strike, we have true grit," Young said at a press conference before touring the flood damage with the governor.
A.J. Mumm, director of Polk County Management, said 39 people are currently being housed at Southeast Polk High School in Pleasant Hill. Reynolds also visited that facility Monday, where spoke to many people who had been evacuated by homes, she said.
Mumm says his agency is aiming to have those displaced in the storm placed in apartments and other housing facilities by Friday.