DES MOINES – Gov. Terry Branstad on Wednesday requested a presidential disaster declaration for 47 Iowa counties that incurred significant damage in recent severe weather events.
In a letter to President Obama, Branstad cited damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rains and thunderstorms resulting in severe flooding beginning May 19 and continuing through June 23.
Counties included in the request for federal Public Assistance Program funding were Appanoose, Benton, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Clayton, Crawford, Davis, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hardin, Henry, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lyon, Mahaska, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Monroe, O’Brien, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Poweshiek, Sac, Sioux, Story, Tama, Wapello, Webster, Winnebago and Wright.
A joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the 47 counties found severe weather caused an estimated $22 million worth of damage that could be eligible under the Public Assistance Program. Public Assistance funds may be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during, and debris removal after the storms.
In addition to requesting the presidential disaster declaration, Branstad activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Program in Lee and Webster counties. The governor originally declared the counties disaster counties on June 7 as a result of storms and flooding that began in the state on May 19.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery.
The grant application and instructions are available at the “Disaster Assistance” link on the Iowa Department of Human Services website: www.dhs.iowa.gov.