Iowa House Delegation Urges Disaster Declarations for Four Counties

The United States Capital Building seen from a block away

Washington, D.C. – Iowa Reps. Leonard Boswell, Bruce Braley, Steve King, Tom Latham, and David Loebsack joined together today in urging President Obama to grant a major disaster declaration for four Iowa counties following severe storm damage this month.

The five congressmen wrote in support of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s request that Benton, Marshall, Story, and Tama counties be eligible for federal assistance under the Stafford Assistance Act. Strong storms earlier this month produced 100 mph winds and caused widespread damage to schools, hospitals, emergency communications facilities, and fire stations. Moreover, electrical utility infrastructure damage remains a major concern over a broad area, as is the case for telecommunications infrastructure, agriculture infrastructure (including crop and livestock losses), and municipal water pumping stations.

“I understand the financial hardships that families, farmers, small businesses, communities, and counties face when weather wreaks havoc on the land, homes, and infrastructure, and I have always supported helping them to regroup and rebuild following devastating weather,” said Rep. Boswell. “I encourage President Obama to consider the economic challenges that many families and local governments are facing today, and to grant major disaster declarations to these counties, including Benton and Tama which are in my district.”

“These storms severely damaged Iowa schools, hospitals, fire stations and electricity and communications infrastructure,” said Rep. Braley. “I strongly urge the President to provide assistance to help Iowa’s families, communities, and businesses rebuild as quickly as possible.”

“I encourage the President to act quickly on Governor Branstad’s request for a major disaster declaration for storm damage in Benton, Marshall, Story and Tama counties,” said Rep. King. “The severe storms that swept through these counties earlier this month did extensive damage, and the timely granting of the Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration will greatly assist the ongoing efforts to rebuild.”

“Severe weather threatens both lives and property, causing serious financial difficulties for those affected,” said Rep. Latham, the original sponsor of the letter. “These Iowa counties are responding to severe storms, and I applaud Governor Branstad’s request for disaster assistance and urge the White House to give the request all due consideration.”

“The high winds and storms that recently passed through Central and East Central Iowa caused substantial damage to homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and farms,” said Rep. Loebsack. “I have seen firsthand the devastating effect natural disasters can cause and the importance of assistance from the federal government to aid in the recovery. I strongly urge the President to sign the declaration.”

Posted by on Jul 29 2011. Filed under National News, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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