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Federal Disaster Assistance approved for 56 Iowa counties

Posted: 6:16 PM, Mar 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-23 19:16:28-04
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — President Donald Trump has issued an expedited major disaster declaration for 56 counties in Iowa in response to flooding and storms that have damaged the area.

The declaration now triggers the release of federal funds that will help communities in Iowa recover. As damage assessments take place, additional designations may be made, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“I thank President Trump and FEMA for moving quickly to provide a major disaster declaration for Iowa. These emergency funds will be put to good use to help communities and individuals across the state recover from this devastating flooding,” Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said in a press release. “The massive recovery will be long, but Iowans are resilient.”

FEMA will provide public assistance to the following counties:

Adair, Allamakee, Audubon, Boone, Bremer, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Decatur, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Tama, Union, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, and Wright.

These counties will be helped through the Public Assistance Program, designed to assist state and local governments and certain private nonprofits for emergency work. The program also aids in the repair and replacement of facilities and infrastructure damaged by the disaster.

In Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury counties, assistance is available through the Individual Assistance Program. This program works to provide financial help or direct services to private individuals who have expenses and serious needs if they are unable to make ends meet through other means.

Sen. Grassley says individuals and business owners who have sustained losses in the designated area can apply for assistance by registering online here. Individuals can also call 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free phone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

All Iowa counties are also eligible for assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. This program helps protect state and local governments and certain nonprofits from long-term risk.

Sen. Grassley sent a letter to President Trump asking him to quickly grant the expedited request sent by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to declare Iowa a major disaster area. Gov. Reynolds has announced a 24/7 call center, designed to answer questions Iowans might have about recovery efforts and assistance.

Iowans can also call 2-11 for more help.

More flood information and access to resources for Iowans can be found here.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Iowa businesses and residents. This declaration covers Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Woodbury counties.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations can borrow up to $2 million for recovery purposes. SBA also can lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to protect the same kind of damage from happening in the future.

SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small bushiness engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations. These loans help to meet working capital needs caused by the severe weather, and is available to businesses regardless of property damage.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency must be contacted first on this website. Additional information is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800)-659-2955.