President Barack Obama has approved a request from Gov. Terry Branstad for a Presidential Disaster Declaration covering 22 counties where severe weather caused damage in June and July.
Included in the declaration are Audubon, Black Hawk, Butler, Cedar, Des Moines, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Mahaska, Muscatine, Poweshiek, Tama, and Washington counties.
Branstad requested the declaration on July 29. Damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, hail and thunderstorms affected the state from June 26 to July 7.
The declaration is the third Iowa has received this year. 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. Funds can be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. That may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans for essential government functions and grants for public schools.
Branastad also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, the state will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps to strengthen existing infrastructure.
The Presidential Disaster Declaration is the 21st Major Presidential Disaster Declaration the state has received since March 2007.