When California was rampaged by wildfires earlier this school year, we sent aid. When Florida got hit by a hurricane two years ago, we rallied around them. Now, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri are asking for help.
Despite media attention from CNN, who is staked out in a flooded St. Joseph, Missouri, and Vice President Mike Pence flying out to Nebraska on Tuesday, very little help from outside the Midwest has been sent. It is up to us to fend for ourselves.
The only aid the region has received is from the Red Cross and National Guard, who can only do so much. According to KSNB Local the“American Red Cross is operating 22 shelters, with a population of 660 people” in total. The Nebraska Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team has also been called and rescued more than 16 people. Keep in mind, this force wasn’t used in the region’s last major flood in 2011.
The Midwest has not seen large scale disasters like this since the Joplin Tornado and the Mississippi River flood, both in 2011.
Both Nebraska and Iowa have declared national states of emergency as water levels rise to dangerous levels, having already killed four people and two more missing.
Steve Hespen, the sheriff of Nebraska's Dodge County, told NPR that several levees were breached in the region he patrols.
Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds said 41 of Iowa’s 99 counties are included in the disaster declaration.
Northwest has been affected by this flood as many students come from Nebraska and Iowa.
Junior Mackenzie Daffer is a resident of Percival, Iowa. She said this is more than a “slight inconvenience.”
“I think people should know that this really is a disaster and that people really need help,” Daffer said. “It’s not just a slight inconvenience that you hear about and then go on with your day. People's lives are at stake. People are prideful and feeling vulnerable and aren’t thinking about actually asking for help. Just be a light in these people's lives and help, I promise you they won’t say no.”
Student Senate is raising money and collecting supplies such as drinking water for victims of the flooding. They are taking donations in the form of water, Gatorade, basic hygiene products and food.
Tau Kappa Epsilon is also raising money to help those affected.
The university and Mozingo Lake are providing housing and space for victims.
Students are encouraged to donate what they can to help those in need.