Iowa's soil, road damage costs continue to climb - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Iowa's soil, road damage costs continue to climb

DES MOINES, IA (KTTC-TV) -- Emergency repairs to Iowa's roads after June's floods are costing about $30 million and climbing.

Officials say flooding forced the closure of 464 miles of Iowa's state highway system, including 303 bridges and culverts.

County roads also suffered.

The estimates came as the Iowa Department of Transportation began submitting damage reports to the Federal Highway Administration to seek Federal Disaster money.

Department of Transportation Director Nancy Richardson says it's too early to describe the full extent of damage to Iowa's roads.

Meantime, a new survey shows that Iowa's soil and water conservation structures suffered $40 million worth of damage in flooding.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship survey shows that an estimated 2.3 million acres, or about 10 percent of Iowa's cropland, has suffered severe erosion damage.

That's defined as the loss of 20 tons or more of soil per acre.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the widespread erosion is troublesome, particularly at a time when corn and soybeans are in high demand for feed and fuel.

He says when you lose soil, you undermine agriculture.

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