The Governors from Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska gathered Wednesday to discuss healthcare, economics, and storm recovery - all things they have in common. The Governors met with community leaders for almost four hours and while there was a lot on the agenda, they seemed most eager to discuss how Siouxlanders came together in the aftermath of last week's storms.
After a storm cell passed through Nebraska, South Dakota, and Iowa bringing both blizzards and tornadoes, areas across the three states are still in need of some major damage control.
"I think great progress has been made on emergency response. We just had these tornadoes over the weekend and I was really impressed with the local response and the training," said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
The Governors of the three states met in Dakota Dunes, discussing the disasters and what kind of effect they had on the communities across the area. They talked about the effect in Wayne, Nebraska extensively.
"It would appear there's going to be a period of time where people are going to go on unemployment insurance to be a part of the system. More importantly for our economic development team is how do we get these structures back up and find temporary facilities so they can put people back to work," Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said.
While the damage is certainly still in the process of being repaired, the Governors couldn't say enough about the resiliency of the Midwestern people and their willingness to help in the communities affected.
"The day after the tornado in Wayne, over 500 volunteers turned up to clean up and begin the recovery process. That's just phenomenal. And we hadn't even called the federal government by then," said Heineman.
"What's nice about living in the Midwest and governing a state in the Midwest is our citizens are so self-reliant. They first look to themselves, their neighbors, their friends, and many people as strangers will volunteer to help when a neighbor is in need," said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.
As disaster cleanup continues, they say they're optimistic about the outcome simply because of the people involved in the work.
Governor Daugaard also spoke about the power outages and livestock deaths in the western part of South Dakota affected by the blizzard.
All three reiterated they're making sure everything that needs to be done to recover is taking place at the state and federal levels. But they say no decision has been made yet in any of the states on whether to apply for federal financial assistance.
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