Bush Gets Firsthand Look At Flooded Iowa Cities

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — President Bush is offering any immediate help the government can bring to parts of the Midwest besieged by record flooding.

He’s been in Iowa visiting with local and federal officials at an emergency operations center. He’s also taking an aerial tour of some of the flood damage.

It’s his first tour of the Midwest since heavy rains sent rivers surging over their banks and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes across six states.

At today’s briefing, Bush saw before-and-after pictures of one Iowa town. The post-flood shots showed most buildings covered by water. FEMA chief David Paulison is with Bush on the tour, and praised the “great coordination” on flood response among federal, state and local leaders.

Paulison called it yet “another lesson” learned from Hurricane Katrina.