Some Iowa counties are now eligible for more federal disaster assistance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s expected to give details later today of counties that will get federal aid for storm losses to their public property, like roads and bridges, in addition to the individuals eligible for their property losses in those counties. Governor Tom Vilsack says some of the people in the hardest hit areas will soon get some relief.He says the families will start receiving financial assistance today from the Department of Human Services for “other needs and assistance”. He says 337 of the 919 applications for assistance were approved. He says Iowa has been approved for in excess of 400-thousand dollars. The federal government pays 75 percent of the money, the state adds 25 percent. Vilsack says the applications will continued to be processed.He says D-H-S is responsible for reviewing the applications, and about 22 percent of those eligible for assistance will receive checks this week, with about 30-percent receiving money by the end of the work week. Vilsack says they’re still trying to determine the amount of damage. He says they’ve gotten a letter from one insurance company that says their claims are 20-million dollars. He says it’s very fair to say the damage is tens of millions of dollars. Iowans who had damage to their homes in the recent storms and flooding are getting checks from the federal government that average about 13-hundred dollars each. FEMA spokesman Lew Wood says the running tally of money is rising as the floodwaters drop.Just two weeks after the presidential disaster declaration in Iowa, Wood says more than two-point-six million dollars in grants and low-interest disaster loans have been approved to help people rebuild and recover. He says more than two-thousand Iowans have called the hotline number, 800 621-FEMA, requesting a hand.
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