Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Nebraska on Tuesday to take stock of the devastation unleashed across the U.S. Midwest by floods that have killed four people, left one missing and caused more than a billion dollars in damage to crops, livestock and roads.
The floodwaters have inundated a large swath of farm states Iowa and Nebraska along the Missouri River, North America’s longest river, prompting half of Iowa’s 99 counties to declare states of emergency.”Touched down in Omaha, Nebraska to survey flood damage & thank volunteers & emergency personnel,” Pence said on Twitter, in a post that included photos of him meeting with the governors of both states and lawmakers.
“The hearts of the American people are with those who have been impacted across the Midwest!” Pence said in the tweet.
Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin have all declared states of emergency in the floods, which stem from a powerful winter hurricane known as a “bomb cyclone” that slammed into the U.S. Farm Belt last week, killing untold numbers of livestock, destroying grains and soybeans in storage, and cutting off access to farms because of road and rail damage.
The latest confirmed death was identified by the sheriff in Fremont County, Iowa, as 55-year-old Aleido Rojas Galan, who was pulled from floodwaters along with another man on Friday and later succumbed to injuries.
A Nebraska man who has been missing since the collapse of the Spencer Dam last week on the Niobrara River was identified by the Omaha World-Herald newspaper as Kenny Angel.
Authorities said they had rescued nearly 300 people in Nebraska alone, with some rivers continuing to rise.
Rescuers could be seen in boats pulling pets from flooded homes. Some roadways crumbled to rubble, while sections of others were submerged. In Hamburg, Iowa, floodwaters covered buildings.
In Brownville, Nebraska, floodwaters lapped at the edge of the small town of 132 people, closing the main bridge across the Missouri River.