Chertoff Vows Quick Action on Flood Relief

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Floods in the Midwest have claimed at least 26 lives and driven thousands from their homes. In Findlay, Ohio, flood waters rose to seven feet above flood stage. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is promising prompt federal help.

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Steve Inskeep is on assignment. I'm John Ydstie.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Another burst of violent weather has struck the Midwest. A fast-moving storm forced airlines to cancel 500 flights last night at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Elsewhere, there's been severe flooding that has driven thousands from their homes. In the town of Findlay, Ohio, floodwaters rose to seven feet above flood stage - the highest level in nearly a century.

Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff toured the area.

Secretary MICHAEL CHERTOFF (U.S. Department of Homeland Security): We're going to move with as much speed as possible, as we've done in some of the other communities that have been afflicted, to assess the damage and get assistance here as quickly as possible.

MONTAGNE: Across the Midwest, at least 26 people have died from flooding and violent storms.

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