President Obama authorizes Presidential Major Disaster Declaration requested by Gov. Branstad

August 25, 2011

– Late yesterday Gov. Branstad received notification that President Obama authorized a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance for six counties impacted by severe storms, straight line winds, and flooding that occurred from July 9 to July 14, 2011.  The counties included in this declaration are Benton, Clay, Dickinson, Marshall, Story, and Tama.

“This declaration by the President will help the impacted cities and counties recover from these disasters,” Branstad said. “Unfortunately, Iowans have experienced several disasters this summer. I am proud of the way the citizens of Iowa, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and all state and local agencies have worked together to bring relief to the disaster affected communities. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I remain committed to seeking as much aid as possible to assist with the recovery of our communities.”

The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance 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.

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 13th Major Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.  The President is also considering a Major Disaster Declaration request from Gov. Branstad for flash flooding that occurred in Dubuque and Jackson counties from July 27-29, 2011.

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