USA: flooding takes a bigger toll on poor communities

Iowa Public Radio

by Katie Peikes

Low-income communities hit hard by natural disasters recover more slowly than wealthier communities do, according to a new report from the Iowa Policy Project.


“These communities are themselves set up for a disaster down the road and continuing downward spiral and being trapped where they are until the community can’t take it anymore and has scattered,” Wilensky said, “or they’re just continually suffering over and over as these disasters strike.” 


“If you are a low income person, you can’t just say, ‘okay I’ll use some of my savings until the FEMA money comes.’ You don’t have any savings,” said David Osterberg, the founder of the Iowa Policy Project. “Having so many people who just are at the edge and then experience a disaster, boy it makes it hard for them."


Communities in southwest Iowa are still recovering from last spring’s Missouri River flooding. Forecasts point to the possibility of more flooding next spring. 

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