Obama issues disaster declaration for eight Iowa counties

Northeast Iowa counties saw severe storms, flooding in August

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President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in eight northeast Iowa counties that were damaged by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding in August.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private non-profit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell and Winneshiek counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Sen. Chuck Grassley called the disaster declaration “warranted.”

“These funds will help Iowa communities clean up the damage, especially those counties that have been hit again by more flooding,” he said.

The declaration will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program, according to Gov. Terry Branstad. The declaration puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits.

Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.

Branstad also received notification that the declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.

For all of The Gazette's Flood 2016 coverage, please visit our flood coverage center.

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