On Thursday Governor Chet Culver received confirmation that President Obama has authorized a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 21 Iowa counties impacted by a severe winter storm beginning Dec. 23, 2009. Governor Culver had requested the disaster declaration last month.
“The winter of 2009-2010 has been historic in its severity,” said Governor Culver. “We greatly appreciate President Obama’s responsiveness in assisting affected areas and I hope that further assistance for areas hit by the ice storm will soon be announced.”
This declaration provides assistance to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations (including rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities) for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
Counties included in the declaration are: Adair, Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Emmet, Franklin, Fremont, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Monona, Page, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Sioux and Woodbury.
In addition, the declaration provides for snow removal assistance (reimbursement of costs for 48 hours of continuous operations for emergency snow removal) for the following counties: Cherokee, Clay, Emmet, Fremont, Harrison, Ida, Page, Pottawattamie, Sioux and Woodbury.
Public Assistance program funds are available to public entities and select nonprofit agencies to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts, and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during the storms.
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.
Governor Culver has also requested a disaster declaration for counties impacted by an ice storm beginning Jan. 19, 2010. That request is still pending.