Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Senator Chuck Grassley made the following comment about the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to make Iowans in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona and Pottawattamie counties eligible for Individual Assistance in response to damage caused by this year’s Missouri River flooding. Senator Grassley urged FEMA to reverse its previous position, under which Iowans in these areas would have access to Individual Assistance, in personal meetings with the Administrator of FEMA, W. Craig Fugate, and in a recent letter endorsing Governor Branstad’s appeal to FEMA.
“Iowans who lost their homes and businesses in the Missouri River flooding this year deserve to be treated fairly, and this decision is a very significant move in that direction. It’s only right that Iowa flood victims be treated equitably, compared to the kind of assistance given to flood victims elsewhere, including right across the river from Iowa. The magnitude and severity of the Missouri River flooding in Iowa merits maximum eligibility for federal disaster relief.”
In addition to flood recovery, Senator Grassley’s efforts continue for flood prevention and control. Yesterday he testified before a U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing reviewing the 2011 floods and the condition of the nation’s flood-control systems. He also met one-on-one yesterday afternoon with Brigadier General John McMahon, who is in charge of the Northwest Division of the Corps that handles the portion of the Missouri River in Iowa.
“Serious questions have been raised about the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has managed flows on the Missouri River. The Corps needs to fully account for its decisions of the last year, and the actions and proposals for the future management of the Missouri River need to be carefully examined to avoid a repeat of what we saw this year. In addition to securing a long-term fix to make flood control the top priority for Corps management of the Missouri River, there’s an important immediate issue about when to evacuate water being held upstream in order to make room for next year’s runoff, while also allowing time this year for evaluation and repair of dams and water-logged levees downstream. It’s not possible to complete all of these repairs before winter sets in, so everything possible needs to be done to protect residents along the Missouri River from flooding again next year.”
According to FEMA, there are four ways to register for Individual Assistance:
- Call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Operators assist callers seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Help is available in most languages. If an individual has a speech disability or hearing loss and use a TTY, they can call 1-800-462-7585.
- Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Register using a tablet or smartphone by visiting m.fema.gov.
- For individuals who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), they can call 1-800-621-3362.
State of Iowa
Federal Disaster Declaration Fact Sheet
October 18, 2011
On June 27, 2011, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Iowa triggering the release of Federal funds to help communities recover from Flooding, which occurred May 25, 2011, to August 1, 2011. This disaster declaration has been amended as indicated below in bold. Details of the disaster declaration and assistance programs are as follows:
Declaration Number: FEMA-1998-DR
Incident Period: May 25, 2011, to August 1, 2011
Federal Coordinating Officer: Michael R. Scott
National FCO Program
Individual Assistance (IA): Assistance to Individuals and Households.
IA – Designated Counties: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Pottawattamie.
Public Assistance (PA): Assistance for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
PA – Designated Counties: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury for Public Assistance, including direct Federal assistance.
Hazard Mitigation (HM): Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
HM – Designated Counties: All counties in the State of Iowa are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
OTHER: Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Grassley urges consideration of Governor Branstad’s appeal to FEMA
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today asked the top official of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to consider an appeal made by Governor Terry Branstad to make Iowans living in Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties eligible for individual disaster assistance.
“It’s only fair that residents of these Iowa counties be eligible for individual assistance, especially considering the latest about the magnitude and severity of the Missouri River flooding,” Grassley said.
In June, the President issued a major disaster declaration in response to the flooding. Grassley has met personally with FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate this year and pressed for Iowans to receive assistance that is equitable to that provided elsewhere. Here is the text of Grassley’s October 6 letter to Fugate:
October 6, 2011
The Honorable W. Craig Fugate
Federal Emergency Management Agency
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
500 C Street SW
Washington, DC 20472
Dear Administrator Fugate,
I respectfully ask that you consider the appeal that Governor Branstad submitted today for Individual Assistance for Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury Counties. On June 27, 2011, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Iowa in response to the record amounts of rain and snowmelt which led to unprecedented runoff in the Missouri River basin during the months of May, June, and July.
It is my understanding that additional information has been gathered since the original request was submitted that clarifies the magnitude and severity of this disaster. Individual Assistance will be vital in helping Iowans, who have endured prolonged hardship over the past four months, recover.
Thank you for your prompt consideration of this appeal.
Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator