Economic Losses from the 2008 Iowa Floods
A Watershed Year: The Iowa Floods of 2008, U of Iowa Press, (2009)
The Iowa floods of 2008 were a very destructive natural disaster with total property losses far exceeding the in-state damages occurring during the 1993 floods. Current estimates place total damages to private property and public infrastructure at over $3 billion, with the highest volume of damages in Linn and Johnson Counties. Offsetting these losses has been a significant inflow of federal disaster relief monies. As of January 2008, an estimated $1.4 billion of federal dollars had been earmarked for disaster relief in Iowa. The combination of these external dollars and the spending to rebuild and replace damaged properties appear to have had a short-run stimulative effect on the Iowa economy as retail sales in the most severely affected counties are significantly above state averages in these reconstruction-related categories.
Keywords: Flood impacts, natural disaster, disaster relief