Seven northeast Iowa counties damaged by severe weather last month have been declared federal disaster areas by President Donald Trump.

The nation's chief executive issued the disaster declaration for Allamakee, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette and Mitchell counties on Sunday (Aug. 27, 2017). The declaration will help the region recover from devastating severe storms and flooding that caused an estimated $7 million worth of damage from July 19-23.

The declaration will provide financial help under the Public Assistance Program, which may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. State and local governments can use the available money to fix roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas, and similar publicly-owned property.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities may be eligible to receive federal financial assistance too.

In a news release, FEMA officials said federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

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