CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Just two weeks after President Clinton declared Iowa a federal disaster area, more than $1 million in disaster housing assistance has been approved for victims of the severe storms and flooding that have occurred since July 2, according to state and federal disaster recovery officials.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) report that assistance totaling $1,181,245 has been approved for families and individuals to help with needs such as paying rent for alternate short-term housing and for homeowners to make minimal repairs that will make their homes livable.
"Meeting housing needs for storm victims is our top priority and this is just the beginning," Federal Coordinating Officer Curt Musgrave said. Checks have been written to 744 applicants. "Many more applications are being processed and damage inspections are underway."
State of Iowa Coordinating Officer, Steve Zimmerman, urged Iowans who haven't yet registered to call the FEMA toll-free registration number 1-800-462-9029. People with hearing or speech impairments may call (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Registrations can be made between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., CDT, daily, until further notice.
"The sooner people apply, the quicker we can get them some help," Zimmerman said. "The goal of this disaster operation is to get people on the road to recovery as soon as possible."
Thirteen Iowa counties have been declared eligible for individual assistance disaster programs. They are Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Jones, Mitchell, Woodbury, and Worth.