Government

Gov. Reynolds seeks federal disaster help

Governor asks help for 30 counties

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and Gov. Kim Reynolds talk with city officials in Marshalltown on Friday, July 20, 2018. Temporary shelters have been set up for the displaced, and emergency crews are working to remove debris and downed powerlines. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and Gov. Kim Reynolds talk with city officials in Marshalltown on Friday, July 20, 2018. Temporary shelters have been set up for the displaced, and emergency crews are working to remove debris and downed powerlines. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds sent a letter Wednesday to President Donald Trump requesting a federal disaster declaration for 30 Iowa counties where significant damage of at least $16 million was sustained from severe storms and flooding from June 6 to July 2.

The request covers damage to the state before tornadoes hit Pella, Marshalltown and Bondurant on July 19. A separate disaster declaration will be sought for damage from those storms.

In her request to Trump, Reynolds asked for funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program for these counties: Adair, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Dallas, Delaware, Dickinson, Emmet, Floyd, Hamilton, Hancock, Howard, Humboldt, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Polk, Sioux, Story, Warren, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek and Wright counties.

Public assistance funding is used to rebuild damaged infrastructure such as roads and bridges and to pay for emergency services during a storm and debris removal afterward.

A damage assessment of the 30 counties estimated damage at $16 million to public facilities and services.

Reynolds also requested funding under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program for Buchanan, Dickinson, Polk and Winnebago counties, which helps people replace housing and personal property.

The governor also asked the Small Business Administration to make low-interest loans available and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide assistance in these four counties. Reynolds also requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state.

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