Government

Trump approves disaster declaration for 7 Iowa counties

A truck buried beneath bricks where a historic building once stood in downtown McGregor on July 20, 2017 after an EF1 tornado ripped through the tourist town the night before. (Liz Zabel/The Gazette)
A truck buried beneath bricks where a historic building once stood in downtown McGregor on July 20, 2017 after an EF1 tornado ripped through the tourist town the night before. (Liz Zabel/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for seven Iowa counties, including four northeast Iowa counties that suffered significant damage from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from July 19-23.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced the approval that makes federal disaster assistance available to the state to supplement state and local recovery efforts in Allamakee, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, and Mitchell counties.

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

The presidential approval followed a request by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for a presidential disaster declaration for those seven Iowa counties. Funds from the FEMA Public Assistance Program can be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure including roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities or to cover costs of emergency work during and debris removal after the storms.

Following a joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the seven counties, it was estimated the severe weather caused nearly $7 million in damages that could be eligible under the Public Assistance Program. Reynolds also requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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