President Obama Authorizes Presidential Disaster for Six Iowa Counties


June 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today received notification that President  Obama has authorized a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for six counties impacted by ongoing flooding conditions along the Missouri River since May 25, 2011.

“I am pleased to see the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for these six counties came through,” Branstad said. “As we are still actively fighting the flood, this declaration provides a much needed financial boost to our local governments.”

The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury counties under the Public Assistance Program. This funding will be available to eligible public entities and select nonprofit agencies to cover costs incurred for implementing emergency protective measures and for the anticipated need for removal of debris.

In addition, the declaration makes available Direct Federal Assistance, which may include sheltering supplies and swift-water rescue teams if needed. “Communities along the Missouri River have exhausted their budgets in responding to the flood,” said HSEMD Administrator Brigadier General Derek Hill. “This declaration not only provides Direct Federal Assistance to aid in the response, but also provides the funding to replenish local budgets and assist with debris removal when the flood waters recede.”

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division continues to evaluate the flood’s impact on Iowans. This most recent declaration does not include aid to individuals and businesses. However, the Division is working with local emergency management agencies to determine the number of homes impacted by the flood and the damages these impacted homes have sustained.

The Division, along with FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and local authorities will be conducting preliminary damage assessments next week to determine if the damages that have occurred thus far are sufficient to warrant the inclusion of the Individual Assistance Program in this Major Disaster Declaration.

The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster 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 natural disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.

This Presidential Disaster Declaration is the 12th Major Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.