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Bush To Visit Flood Devastated Midwest

This story was written by Brian Stewart, The Daily Iowan

President Bush said on Tuesday that there are sufficient federal relief funds to cover the damage incurred from flooding in the Midwest.

Bush will visit Iowa on Thursday to meet with those affected by the flood and survey the damage.

Thus far, he said, the federal government has been able to provide around 2 million liters of drinking water for the state, per Gov. Chet Culver's request.

"We're in constant contact with people on the ground to help make sure that we save lives," Bush said at a press conference.

He noted that there will be federal assistance for short-term housing in the Midwest. He said he's asked Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff to create a task force, similar to the one created when wildfires ravaged much of California, to help displaced residents get back into their homes as quickly and strategically as possible.

"I fully understand people are upset when they lose their homes," Bush said. "People's homes are their most valued possession."

Ed Schafer, the U.S. secretary of Agriculture, is prepared to help provide aid to affected farmers, Bush said

There is "enough money in [the federal disaster relief Fund] to take care of this disaster," the president. He said he has asked Jim Nussle, the director of the Office of Management and Budget and a former Iowa congressman, to work with Congress to secure additional funding to ensure that adequate aid is available for any potential future disasters this year.

The White House has not released the specifics of Bush's Thursday visit to the flooded Midwest.

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