Gov. Terry Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Fayette and Muscatine counties on Thursday (Sept. 29, 2016). 

The declaration is in response to recent flooding that began Sept. 21.

A total of 23 counties have now been proclaimed by the Governor. The others are: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Delaware, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Jones, Linn, Louisa, Mitchell, Story, Worth and Wright.

The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms. Thursday's proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Fayette and Muscatine counties.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $40,180, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery.

The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.

State, local, and federal teams are currently conducting joint damage assessments in nine counties impacted by the recent flooding. The assessments are being done in Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Delaware, Floyd, Jones and Linn counties.

Data from the joint damage assessments could be used by Gov. Branstad to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which, if granted, would make Individual Assistance funding available in the designated counties. The FEMA Individual Assistance Program is made available to homeowners, renters and businesses and 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.

Assessments of damage to public infrastructure have not been scheduled at this time.

In order to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, damage incurred must meet criteria set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.