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Fremont County Flooding
 
February 11, 2010
 
Mr. President,
 
            This week, Fremont County in my home state of Wyoming has been hit hard by flooding.  I want to take this opportunity to commend the communities in Wyoming that have come together and worked so hard to respond to the flooding, to help protect each other’s homes, and whose willingness to step up and volunteer to help their neighbors really shows the true Wyoming spirit.
 
            I want to thank the individuals who have been filling sandbags all week.  Literally hundreds of thousands of sandbags have been filled to help hold back the floodwaters and protect homes and businesses.  I’m told that there are more sandbags if we need them and I know that people in my home state won’t hesitate for a second to do the hard work that will help protect a neighbor’s home or a community business.  This truly is a community effort, and I’m proud of the example that our small businesses, our community organizations, and Wyoming’s volunteers are making.
 
            More than 200 Wyoming National Guard members are in Fremont County right now.  Their service is critical to our communities in times like these, and I want to recognize and thank them for their hard work.  They’re making a huge difference in helping make sure that communities like Lander, Ethete, Fort Washakie, Hudson and many other places have the help they need.
 
            The extent of the damage from this disaster is still unclear, but our communities – both in Wyoming and in other states that have been hit by natural disasters – must have the resources to recover and put their towns and neighborhoods back together.  For those agricultural producers affected by this flood, this is the very reason why I worked with my colleagues during the 2008 Farm Bill to enact a Permanent Disaster Program. So funding would be available when it is most needed and would not require emergency Congressional action.
 
            I know that Senator Barrasso and Representative Lummis are working hard to make sure that Fremont County can get the support it needs.  Their energy and hard work have been critical to the teamwork that we do.  Wyoming is a big state, so I’m glad that we’ve always worked together to make sure we can get different jobs done in different places. 
 
            I want to thank everyone who has helped respond to this disaster for their hard work and persistence.  They’ve truly demonstrated what it means to part of the Wyoming community.  Our prayers are with everyone at this difficult time.