President Bush has approved a federal disaster declaration for 13 Iowa counties hit by spring storms and Mississippi River flooding. Governor Tom Vilsack got the news today from the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The President signed the declaration for both personal and public assistance. Vilsack says it’s terrific news for flood-weary Iowans who live in the 10 counties which line the Mississippi. Vilsack says the flooding has caused millions of dollars in damage to both the public and the private sector. Vilsack says the announcement puts a lot of minds at ease after FEMA director Joe Allbaugh said Davenport perhaps shouldn’t get any federal aid since the city refused to build a flood wall. Vilsack believes Allbaugh’s mind was changed by his visit to the Quad Cities last week. Vilsack said FEMA learned about the steps Davenport and other communities had taken to prevent heavy flooding damage. The Presidential Disaster Declaration makes federal help available for individuals, businesses and governments. Those who’ve suffered damage can start calling to sign up for assistance tomorrow at 800-462-9029. The numbers are open from 8 a-m until 6 p-m, seven days a week.
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