Federal assistance is coming to eight northeast Iowa counties that were ravaged by severe storms and flooding in late August.

President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell and Winneshiek counties on Thursday (Sept. 29, 2016). Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad requested the declaration on Sept. 19 in response to significant damage that was caused by severe storms and flooding from Aug. 23-27.

The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits.

Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.

The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.

This Presidential Disaster Declaration is the 23rd that Iowa has received since March 2007.

The declaration DOES NOT provide federal funding to repair damage from severe storms and major flooding that's impacted at least 23 Iowa counties since Sept. 21. Damage assessments from the most-recent flooding are currently underway and Branstad plans to a make another federal declaration request once those estimates are determined.