President Declares Disaster for Iowa (Audio)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Iowa to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of June 14-23, 2014.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in Allamakee, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury and Wright counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Local counties in the area have been looking for assistance. In county supervisor meetings such as Winnebago and Hancock, discussion has centered on when the relief might come to the area. Already, Governor Branstad had issued disaster declarations for the counties listed in the federal proclamation, but that was almost four weeks prior to this announcement by the President.

Efforts by counties to assess damage in their areas was done and submitted to federal authorities. That information was then gathered by FEMA who in turn told county officials and the state, that damage estimates would need to meet certain federal guidelines before any consideration by the President would be made. County officials we spoke with felt that the numbers spoke for themselves and funding was possible if FEMA would sign off on it.

Michael L. Parker, Federal Coordinating Officer
Michael L. Parker, Federal Coordinating Officer

FEMA saw that the damages estimates met federal guidelines and with a Presidential signature, funding cleared the final hurdle. As a result, Michael L. Parker has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Parker said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

Winnebago County supervisor Terry Durby expressed his appreciation and described how the county got the funding:

Durby told KIOW News that the task was large, but was accomplished through cooperative effort


Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Iowa.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.