President Donald Trump issued an order this weekend that extends federal aid to help Iowans recover from severe storms and flooding.
Federal assistance is available to individuals in five western Iowa counties. Residents of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury can apply for federal grants to cover temporary housing and home repairs. Low-interest federal loans are now available in those five counties to cover uninsured losses on personal and business property.
Federal aid is also available to the State of Iowa as well as tribal and local governments in 56 counties to cover emergency work.
“Public infrastructure damage has totaled approximately $77 million. Those are initial estimates,” Joyce Flinn, director of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said during a weekend appearance on Iowa Public Television.
On Friday, Governor Reynolds submitted a total damage estimate of nearly $1.6 billion for losses associated with the flooding. That included an initial estimate of farm-related flood losses.
“We had gotten an estimate from Fremont County of $107 million so we basically doubled that, figuring that Mills County had similar impacts,” Flinn said. “…We also looked at the miles of levees — both Corps levees and individual levees — and attached an estimated figure to repair all of those.”
That estimate indicates it would cost $525 billion fix the levees damaged in southwest Iowa. The president’s disaster declaration does not immediately trigger federal funding for levee repairs.
See below for information from the governor’s office, the White House and USDA about a telephone hotline and websites to help individual flood victims learn what grants and loans are currently available.
Sunday, March 24, 2019: DES MOINES – Today the governor’s office released the below information to help Iowans impacted by the recent flood. Applying for assistance to recover from the recent flooding in Iowa is easy and can be done via phone or online.
Call 1-800-621-3362. You can call between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., seven days a week. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, can call 800-462-7585.
Go online to disasterassistance.gov. You can apply online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When you apply by phone or online, you’ll be walked through the kinds of assistance that are available and what you need to do to apply. You’ll also be assigned a case manager to help you navigate the process.
As of today, residents in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury counties have been included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration, making their citizens eligible to apply for this assistance. However, if you’ve been impacted by the recent flooding and you don’t live in one of those counties, register anyway. By doing this, you could help the citizens in your county become eligible for assistance.
Who can apply? Anyone impacted by the flooding that started in Iowa on March 13.
For information on Iowa’s flood recovery, visit www.floods2019.iowa.gov or call 211.
March 23, 2019: WASHINGTON, DC. Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Iowa and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms and flooding beginning on March 12, 2019, and continuing.
The President’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Federal funding is available to the State and to tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in the counties of Adair, Allamakee, Audubon, Boone, Bremer, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Decatur, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Tama, Union, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury, and Wright.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Timothy J. Scranton as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.
Damage assessments are continuing in other areas, and additional areas may be designated for assistance after the assessments are fully completed.
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance today by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
DES MOINES, Iowa, March 21, 2019 – Extreme weather conditions like the recent “bomb cyclone” impacted farmers and ranchers in Iowa. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disaster assistance programs available to help agricultural producers recover after natural disasters, including floods.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) offer programs that help producers recover losses, rehabilitating farms and ranches, and managing risk.
FSA offers many programs to help producers recover from losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program and the Tree Assistance Program. Producers located in counties receiving a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses.
“FSA has a variety of disaster assistance programs to support farmers and ranchers through times of adversity,” said Amanda DeJong, State Executive Director for the FSA in Iowa. “Once you are able to evaluate your losses, it is important to contact your local FSA office to report all damages and losses and learn more about how we can assist.”
Rehabilitating Farms and Ranches
NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other conservation programs to help producers recover and build resilience to better weather future disasters. Any practice that is needed to address an approved resource may be eligible. This could include deceased livestock disposal, or repairing a failed practice, like flood damaged fencing, from a previous EQIP contract. In some cases, farmers may be able to add a practice to existing EQIP contracts through a modification
“NRCS can be a very valuable partner to help landowners with their recovery effort,” said Kurt Simon, State Conservationist for the NRCS in Iowa. “Our staff will work one-on-one with landowners to make assessments of the damages and develop approaches that focus on effective recovery of the land.”
Meanwhile, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.
Producers with coverage through federal crop insurance should contact their agent for issues regarding filing claims. Those who purchased crop insurance will be paid for covered losses.
“Producers should report crop damage within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days,” RMA Regional Director Duane Voy said. “The Approved Insurance Providers, loss adjusters and agents are experienced and well-trained in handling these types of events.”
Compensation also is available to producers who purchased coverage through FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2019 crops.
In addition to helping producers, USDA also offers local governments and other entities with rebuilding infrastructure and removing debris. The NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program provides assistance to local government sponsors with the cost of addressing watershed impairments or hazards like debris removal and streambank stabilization. Interested entities should contact their local NRCS conservationist.
USDA offers a disaster assistance discovery tool that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of what USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs. For more information on disaster assistance programs, contact your local USDA service center or farmers.gov/recover.