Damage Assessments to be Conducted in Six Counties along Missouri River


June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) will be conducting joint damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials as a result of flooding which began on May 25, 2011.

Teams will conduct joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) beginning June 16 for the federal Public Assistance program. The teams conducting the PDAs will be comprised of representatives from state, local and federal governments.

Public Assistance joint PDA teams will review damage in six counties along the Missouri River: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury. The Public Assistance program provides to public entities and select nonprofit agencies funding to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts,
and other public facilities; or to cover costs of emergency protective measures such as construction of temporary levees, berms, dikes, and sandbagging; pumping of trapped floodwaters that threaten improved property; emergency medical services; activation of a State or local emergency operations center; and emergency
evacuations of medical and custodial care facilities.

Data from the joint PDAs could be used by Governor Branstad to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which, if granted, would make Public Assistance funding available in the designated counties. In order to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, damages incurred must meet criteria set by the federal government.

“We need to do what we can to help these communities now, so they won’t have to wait months for any possible federal assistance,” said HSEMD Administrator J. Derek Hill. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division is responsible for the coordination of State disaster response and recovery activities. HSEMD has staffed the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) since June 1, 2011. As of June 10, the
SEOC has also been staffed by personnel from the Iowa National Guard, the State departments of Human Services, Public Safety, Transportation, Natural Resources, and other agencies as appropriate.

For further information on the disaster process and the current situation in Western Iowa, visit http://www.iowahomelandsecurity.org