Grassley Urges President's Help for 10 Northwest Iowa Counties
Washington, D.C. ? In a letter sent today to the White House, Sen. Chuck Grassley urged President Bill Clinton to fully support the request of Gov. Terry Branstad to make 10 Northwest Iowa counties eligible for federal assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration with a Presidential Declaration of disaster.
According to Grassley, a severe system of winter storms in January caused economic hardship and hazardous conditions in Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, and Sioux counties. "In the aftermath of these hazardous storms, federal assistance will help these counties pick up the pieces and recover from the severe weather," Grassley said.
"State and local emergency, utility and transportation officials have done a yeomen's job during this winter season of keeping roads open and services available to the victims of a month's worth of harsh weather conditions. However, the storms have taken a toll on local resources. Local governments far exceeded their snow removal budgets in their efforts to keep streets passable," said Grassley.
According to Grassley, the state Emergency Management Division estimates the severe weather cost local and state governments $1.7 million in January to deliver services in the impacted areas. "A swift decision to grant Presidential Declaration assistance will help state and local governments mitigate the impact on their pinched budgets," said Grassley.
Grassley also expressed concern for Northwestern Iowa communities in the coming months. "Some farmers experienced difficulties in January delivering livestock, grain and milk to market. As the spring thaw approaches, I'm particularly concerned about the imminent possibility for major flooding in the area."