Gov. Branstad Seeks Disaster Declaration for Five Counties

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the bomb blast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon while in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 15, 2013. Two explosions hit the Boston Marathon as runners crossed the finish line on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring 23 on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch one of the world's best known marathons. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST DISASTER)

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By Ellen Kurt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad is requesting a presidential disaster declaration for five northwest Iowa counties due to damage caused by severe weather.

Branstad announced Friday he had signed a letter that will be delivered to President Barack Obama, requesting the designation for Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties.

The request was prompted by severe weather from April 9 to 11, including high winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms, freezing rain, ice and snow. The conditions cause damage to utility lines, poles, trees and vegetation.

Officials estimated there was $6 million in damage that could be eligible for help through the Public Assistance Program. The program can be used to rebuild damaged infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and culverts, or to cover the cost of emergency work and debris removal.

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