Branstad requests Presidential Disaster Declaration - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Branstad requests Presidential Disaster Declaration


Governor Terry Branstad is asking President Obama to declare four Iowa counties as federal disaster areas -- Tama, Benton, Marshall, and Story counties. The designation would allow folks who were hit by a massive windstorm to receive federal recovery grants.

The Isbell family, in rural Benton County, are among hundreds of people still picking up after the storm.

"We've cleaned up a lot of debris, pretty much throughout our whole yard. We've gotten a lot accomplished... we've got a long ways to go, but we've got a lot done," said Sherri Isbell.

Families like the Isbell's have more questions than answers. They're also in need of help, both financially and physically.

Declaring the area a Presidential Disaster zone allows public groups to apply for federal funding. From there, the money can be distributed to individuals or businesses in need.

"I hope they pass it down to the individual level. That would be helpful," said Isbell.

For now, families can receive help from the Benton County Disaster Recovery Coalition, a group that formed after the floods of 2008.

"We don't always have all the answers immediately, but hopefully we can find some answers for them," said one of the organizers, Greg Walston.

"It's been a learning process," added Isbell. "We never thought we'd have anything like that happen, and we did And it happened so fast, suddenly, that's what's so amazing ... and scary."

To contact the BCDRC, call 319-241-5121.

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