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“Let’s Stop Chasing After FEMA Dollars And Get Us A Bridge Built”

November 25, 2014
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

We pay nearly six thousand dollars in property taxes per year &?don't even have our own road to drive on. Since the June floods I have been looking at a bridge across the creek, but no way to get to it. The road stops about 14 ft. short of the bridge on both sides with about a 14 ft. deep valley across the whole road.

Simple fix, but not in our county. Two of the outside pilings are rotted off & became revealed after the flood. So we need a new bridge, the old one is still here not washed away. Maybe FEMA will help put in a new bridge thinks our county officials, after all we had a flood.

All summer long, I've looked at this hole & worried someone would drive through the plastic fence in front of the bridge &?die in a vehicle. By road, it is 6 miles to farm on the other side of the creek, what a pain; & then what you might find is unbelievable:?silt &?corn stalks to get stuck in, empty coffee containers, boards with nails in, full pill bottles, jars of bean dip & salsa, bridge plank & last but not least numerous logs & branches. By the way whom ever had the bright idea that all the trees on the creek need to be chopped into & put poison in to kill them, need to help clean up. When they die & it floods, guess where they end up; we have logs where there are no trees & digging them out of farm equipment has been no fun.

The 6 mile trip around got to be a bit much & as the creek starts in our property, we finally began driving through our hay & bean field to get across the creek to our field across the road. Now we have a road in our hay field & alfalfa don't grow on the road.

My neighbor took down 4 silos &?I thought that could fill in the road, but I was told "the Federal Government owns that water & has to approve what goes next to it "no concrete". Put dirt in then; no we need a new bridge & need FEMA?to look. Not much has happened until October & finally a permit is granted. I hope it is for the correct spot. The paper stated the Walker bridge is off Burns Road on 450th Avenue in Nevada township, we are off Burns Road on 440th Avenue in Great Oak township.

All summer & fall we've waited & should have been building a bridge, but now it is supposed to happen in December. Is this not Iowa &?winter is already here. I can see the bridge getting built, but not the hole on both sides getting filled. Don't dirt freeze & you can't use concrete?

I feel after the FEMA man commented to the supervisors: the flood revealed the damage but didn't cause the pilings to be rotten. We will probably receive money to fill in the holes caused by the flood but not to build a new bridge for an old one. Had the road not washed out, I would still be driving across our bridge & no one would even give it a thought. Now we wait & wait for FEMA. What a Joke.

(signed)?Roger Walker

Emmetsburg, IA



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