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Harkin welcomes federal disaster designation for nine Iowa counties

Senator Tom Harkin, D-IA, issued the following statement upon learning that President Obama had approved a Federal Disaster Designation for Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor and Wayne counties.

The designation ensures that federal assistance is available for these counties, which were impacted by severe storms, tornadoes, winds, and flooding that occurred June 3-4, 2014. Harkin sent letters to President Obama and Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on July 8 urging federal support for the disaster assistance requested by Gov. Terry Branstad.

“While we cannot prevent natural disasters, we can help communities recover and rebuild from these disasters,” Harkin said. “That is what this federal disaster designation is all about: helping Iowa communities in one of their greatest times of need. I applaud the Obama administration’s swift action to grant this designation and give Iowa counties access to the resources they need to recover.”

The designation also means that all Iowa counties are eligible for the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. Harkin was the chief sponsor of legislation that greatly expanded the program following the floods of 1993.

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