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Governor Reynolds appeals denial of assistance for Iowans impacted by flooding


DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds submitted an appeal letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today asking it to reconsider its denial of her request for federal assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses that were affected by flooding and severe weather from June 6 to July 2, 2018.


"We have provided FEMA with additional information that more clearly outlines the tremendous impact this disaster has had on our citizens," Gov. Reynolds said. "I am asking that they grant my request to make this assistance available to Iowans who are in need."


On Aug. 22, 2018, the governor received notification from FEMA that it had denied her request to activate the federal Individual Assistance Program in Buchanan, Dickinson, Polk, and Winnebago counties. Individual Assistance funding provides disaster survivors with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses and legal services. In its denial letter, FEMA said it had determined the impact to individuals and households was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant a designation of Individual Assistance.


Following FEMA's denial, the governor directed the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) to work closely with local emergency management agencies to determine if there were additional damage and impacts caused by the flooding and severe weather.


"We've been able to document a substantial increase in the number of homes that sustained major damage from the flooding," the governor continued. "In our appeal, we presented a much clearer picture of the true impact of the flooding on citizens and communities, as well as the cumulative effect this disaster and the July tornadoes have had on our state."


The FEMA Individual Assistance program, for homeowners, renters and businesses, can include grants and low-interest loans to help pay for temporary housing, home repairs, and other disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance or other aid programs.


The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.