Contact: State Emergency Operations Center, (515) 323.4221

Recovery Efforts Move Ahead; More Counties Receive Assistance from the Federal Government

As the Lt. Governor leads a tour to assess agricultural damage, with stops in Cedar Rapids and Burlington, primary focus is shifting on helping Iowans recover from the flood of 2008. The Lt. Governor has started a helicopter tour of agricultural flood damage. Joining the Lt. Governor will be Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and representatives from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the US Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, the Iowa Corngrowers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Soybean Association. (See details of the schedule at the end of this release


Additional counties have been added to the Presidential Disaster Declaration, bringing the number of counties eligible for federal assistance to 65. Here is the latest list.

Hancock, Kossuth, Lee, Madison, Marshall and Wapello counties have been added to the May 27 federal major disaster declaration providing Individual Assistance to homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding beginning on May 25 and continuing. Federal Individual Assistance has now been approved for 42 Iowa counties. Counties now approved for federal Individual Assistance programs are: Adams, Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Crawford, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Fremont, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Monona, Muscatine, Page, Polk, Story, Tama, Union, Wapello, Warren and Winneshiek.

Residents who were affected in these counties are now eligible to register with FEMA by calling

1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairment or online at The toll-free numbers are now operating 24 hours, seven days a week.

In addition, state and local governments and certain non-profit organizations in Benton, Bremer, Cass, Cedar, Clinton, Decatur, Fremont, Green, Guthrie, Hamilton, Mahaska, Montgomery, Poweshiek and Wapello counties are now eligible to apply for federal Public Assistance to help pay for costs associated with debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. A series of applicant briefings to explain the application process will be held for state and local officials.

The 55 counties currently approved for federal Public Assistance for emergency work and the repair of disaster damaged facilities are: Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Decatur, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Green, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Howard, Humboldt, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Kossuth, Linn, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mitchell, Montgomery, Page, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren, Webster, Winneshiek, Worth and Wright. Joint federal and state disaster assessments throughout the state are on-going.

Governor’s Emergency Proclamation

Counties covered under Governor Culver’s Disaster Proclamation: 83 counties. Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clayton, Crawford, Clinton, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Jefferson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Marion, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Montgomery, Muscatine, Mahaska, Madison, Mills, Monroe, Page, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Story, Shelby, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Webster, Winneshiek, Worth, Wright, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago.

The Governor’s proclamation activates Iowa’s individual disaster assistance program. Iowa’s individual disaster assistance program helps people with low incomes. Iowans with household incomes of up to 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines may apply for a grant of up to $3,300 to help recover from flood damage. The Governor emphasized that this is a reimbursement program, meaning that applicants must include receipts when applying for help.

*New*: One of the untold stories involves cooperation between the states to help during response and recovery efforts. In Iowa, this state-to-state mutual aid is being used for these missions:

– Law enforcement support to help the Cedar Rapids Police Department provide security in affected areas. Law enforcement officers from Nebraska and Minnesota are in Cedar Rapids and this request will be reviewed on Sunday.

– An Incident Management Team from Minnesota will arrive in Louisa county on Saturday morning. This is a group of responders to help Louisa county establish what is called an incident command structure which establishes logistics, operations, planning and assist local officials track and manage the event.

– Public Health teams have arrived in Iowa. Twenty six health professionals from North Carolina are helping deal with public health issues in Butler, Floyd and Linn counties. These teams work in concert with local and state public health professionals.

Meanwhile, state resources are also on duty and ready to continue their support for local responders. Here’s a snapshot of some of the state’s on-going jobs: National guard troops continue to provide bridge security in Cedar County, Department of Transportation trucks have started the process of gathering and returning pumps and the Iowa State Patrol continues to offer support to local law enforcement in eastern Iowa.

Disaster Assistance Clarification

Applying for help. Iowa residents who sustained damage in this year’s storms or floods should apply for federal or state-only disaster assistance grants if they are available. Residents are not eligible for both. By design, the federal program is far more generous than the state-funded Iowa-only program.

How do I know?

o Iowa’s program is automatically turned on when the governor declares a county to be a disaster. He has declared 83 counties so far.

o Iowa’s program is automatically superseded when the president declares a county to be a disaster for individual assistance.

The state program. This is a grant program only for people with very limited income (at or below 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines). Generally, if you are eligible for food stamps, you are eligible for the grant program. The grant is offered in numerous categories, with the maximum grant being about $3,300. For information, go to and look for the words “Storm Help” on the front page. Or call toll free (877) 937-3663.

The federal program. The federal government offers extensive grants and loans for Iowans in areas declared a presidential disaster for individual assistance. The federal program is far more beneficial to victims, both in grant maximum amounts and in eligibility criterion. Specifically, it is not limited to people with very low incomes. A good starting point for federal programs relating to the Iowa disaster is this web site. Or call (800) 621-3362.

What happens if there is a conflict? So far, nobody has filed for grants under the state disaster program in an area that is declared a federal disaster. In the unlikely event that this happens, DHS staff will make contact and help steer the person to more beneficial federal programs. Federal programs offer much more aid and are not limited to low income families.

More information regarding the state and federal disaster grant programs can be found at the following link.

Disaster Recovery Centers Open

There are now 19 Disaster Recover Centers open and there are plans to open over 30 more over the next few days. The centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. Residents of any county designated in the federal disaster declaration may go to any DRC listed below for information. FEMA disaster assistance specialists and representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will be available to answer questions. Other state, federal and non-profit organizations will have information at the DRC as well.

Anyone with storm-related damage is encouraged to register with FEMA prior to visiting a disaster recovery center, but phones are available at the center if residents have not pre-registered. Register by calling FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those with speech or hearing impairments, 24 hours, seven days a week or register online anytime at

residents can meet face to face with state and federal agencies to learn of the assistance programs that are available to them. For the latest list go to the flood 2008 website, Residents of any county designated in the federal disaster declaration may go to any DRC listed below for information.


Des Moines

The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week until further notice. FEMA disaster assistance specialists, as well as representatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will be available to answer questions. Other state, federal, and non-profit organizations will also have information at the DRC.

The Army Corp of Engineers says water should no longer be flowing over the Saylorville Lake emergency spillway as of Sunday, June 21. Water levels are expected this weekend to be below 884 feet, which is the crest of the emergency spillway. Also, water in the Red Rock area appears to be dropping by one foot per day.

The Department of Natural Resources is asking anyone that sees large or unsafe debris (such as drums, hazardous waste, etc.) floating in rivers to call 515-281-8694. Once the debris has been reported, a crew will be called out to remove it.


U.S. Highway 136 Hamilton-Keokuk bridge is now open.

The river crested in Keokuk at 26.9 feet, just under the record of 27.6 feet.

Iowa National Guard troops and other state resources remain in the area and are ready to help local officials respond to any emergency.

Local officials along the Mississippi in southeast Iowa have used the days before the river surge to effectively raise levees to protect key infrastructure items like water treatment plants. “All state resources will be used to continue this flood fight,” Governor Chet Culver stressed.

The Governor visited Fort Madison and Keokuk Wednesday afternoon to ensure local officials and first responders have the state resources they need.

Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids Police have requested assistance via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for additional law enforcement support. Additional officers are requested to provide public safety and law enforcement services in flood zones in the city. Officers from Minnesota and Nebraska will supplement Iowa law enforcement resources to provide this support and are being implemented as phased in deployments on a timeline established by Cedar Rapids Police.

Officials understand the frustration of Cedar Rapids residents who want to return home. They stress they are working to clear the evacuated area of all hazards to ensure a safe reentry. Sink holes, downed power lines and uncovered manholes remain a hazard. While the city’s water capacity has improved, residents are asked to conserve water. Linn County has established regular press briefings and residents are encouraged to tune to those for the latest information. Large portions of the city have been opened for reentry.

Three Disaster Recovery Centers are currently operating in Cedar Rapids Wednesday. These centers give those impacted by the floods a place to meet face to face with state and federal workers to learn about specific programs available to help them and the steps needed to enroll in those programs.

Fort Madison
The Fort Madison Toll Bridge has reopened.

Local officials have taken steps to protect the local water treatment facility.

More than 200 National Guard soldiers are in the area to help local officials with flood preparation and response.

The river has crested in Ottumwa. Though waters are receding, the threat remains that water control efforts could fail. Citizens are encouraged to use caution in the coming days.


The Iowa DOT’s temporary customer service phone line will be in operation from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily until further notice. That number is 866-452-8510. This number was set up for assisting travelers navigate state roadway closings. It is not an emergency number. Emergency calls should be made to 911. The operators at this call center have information on state highways only, not county roads or local streets.

Many of the closures on this list will remain in place for an extended period of time due to extensive damage. It is extremely important that motorists do not move barricades on closed roads, as entering a closed road presents a serious risk.

For travel between Muscatine and Davenport, motorists should take U.S. 61 east to Interstate 280, Interstate 280 north to Interstate 80, and then into or around the city of Davenport via Interstate 80.


Iowa DOT flood call center to close today at 2 p.m.

AMES, Iowa- June 20, 2008 – The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) is deactivating the flood-related road information call center at 866-452-8510 as of 2 p.m. today.

The Iowa DOT’s temporary road information line is no longer necessary as major routes have been reopened, including all interstates and U.S. 218/Iowa 27.

Crossing the Mississippi River south of the Quad Cities remains a challenge. The Burlington bridge remains closed. To cross the Mississippi River into southeast Iowa, use I-80 at the Quad Cities.

Some roadways seriously damaged by the flooding will remain closed until repair work is completed. Those roadways include the following.

U.S. 6 – Muscatine County (Atalissa)
U.S. 18 – Floyd County (New Hampton to Charles City)
Iowa 1 – Linn County (Solon to Mount Vernon)
Iowa 3 – Butler County (Shell Rock)
Iowa 22 – Muscatine County (Nichols to Muscatine)
Iowa 24 – Winneshiek County (Fort Atkinson)
Iowa 150 – Benton County (Vinton)
U.S. 61 (north of Wapello)

For a complete listing of roads closed due to flooding, visit and click on the flood alert symbol.

For out-of-state travelers, information can be found at:



The Iowa DOT sincerely appreciates the cooperation shown by the public during this disaster in being attentive to the dangers of driving on flooded roadways and taking the necessary detours.

· U.S. 6: in Johnson County – U.S. 6 is now open from Iowa 1 to Gilbert Street within the city of Iowa City.

· Iowa 92: in Mahaska County – Iowa 92 is open at Mahaska County Road V-13.


There have been 17 storm-related deaths since the tornado of May 25.

8 Butler County (tornado)
1 Wright County (Flooding)
1 Palo Alto/ Curlew (lightning)
1 Hamilton County (Flooding)
4 Monona County (Tornado)
1 Linn County (Flooding)
1 Louisa County (Flooding)

An additional fatality in Henry County is currently under investigation to determine if the death was the result of a traffic crash or the result of a unrelated medical condition, but it is not being considered a flood related death.


American Red Cross Open Shelters:

Ÿ Benton County

o NEW — Iowa Braille School, 1002 G Avenue Vinton, IA 52349; this is closing on June 20 at 8 p.m.

Ÿ Black Hawk County

o UNI West Gym, University Ave & Campus St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613; 35 occupants

Ÿ Bremer County

o Wartburg College, 222 9th ST NW, Waverly, IA 50677; 27 occupants

Ÿ Des Moines County

o West Burlington High School, 408 W Van Weiss, West Burlington, Iowa ; 9 occupants

Ÿ Johnson County

o Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4265 Oak Crest Hill Rd SE Iowa City, IA 52240; 29 occupants

o Northwest Jr High School, 1507 8th Street, Coralville, Iowa 52241; 26 occupants

Ÿ Linn County

o Viola Gibson Elm. School, 6101 Gibson Dr. NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404; 78 occupants

o Prairie High School, 401 76th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 62404; 145 occupants

13 shelters are in standby mode throughout the State

This is the latest information gathered in terms of the number of Iowans that have been evacuated as a result of this flood. In most cases local officials and emergency managers have allowed reentry.

• Black Hawk County

– Cedar Falls = 1000

– Waterloo = 300

• Butler Co:

– New Hartford and Greene = 300 evacuees

• Cerro Gordo

– Rural = 100

• Clayton Co

– Elkader = 220

• Clinton Co:

– Toronto = 26

• Des Moines Co

– Burlington (Townships Tama, Jackson, Huron) = 350

• Dubuque

– Dyersville = 75

– Cascade = 40

• Hamilton

– Blairsburg = 4

– Webster City = 19

• Johnson County

– Iowa City = 5,000

– Johnson County Rural = 299

• Lee Co

– Montrose (Sandusky Area) = 350

• Louisa Co

– Columbus Junction = 1616 + 37 from Colonial Manor Nursing Care

– Fredonia = 201

– Oakville = 442

• Linn Co

– Cedar Rapids = 25,000 + 205 patients from Mercy Hospital

– Palo = 400 residential + 37 commercial

• Madison Co

– East Peru = 15

• Mahaska Co

– Red Rock Area = 85

– Eddyville= 30

• Polk Co

– Des Moines = 240

• Scott Co

– Bettendorf (Duck Creek Area) = 350

• Wapello County

– Ottumwa = 200

– Cargill Plant is Ok

• Winneshiek Co

– Decorah = 1240

– Freeport = 230

– Fort Atkinson = 50

– Spillville = 45

– Winneshiek Rural Areas = 150

38,656 Evacuees, 18 Counties, 31 Towns-Townships-Rural Areas

Stay out of flood affected areas unless you have been told to be there. Emergency Management Officials need clear access to these areas, and unless you need to be there, stay away.

Evacuate Means Evacuate. If you are directed by local officials to evacuate, leave the area immediately. The situation remains dangerous, and to help protect the lives of Iowans, please leave if you are told to do so.

Be wary of unscrupulous practices. Disasters bring out the best in people, and can sometimes bring out the worst. Reports are sporadic at this time, but have indicated that Iowans affected by flood waters have been scammed by people posing as contractors or emergency personnel. Remember:

* Never pay for goods or services in advance
 * Never give out your social security number
 * Always ask for identification

Iowans interested in volunteering or donating are encouraged to visit the flood 2008 website at They can also contact the Iowa Concerns Hotline at: 800.447.1985.

To obtain updated shelter information, call 1-800-GET-INFO (438-4636)

211 (regional call center to help people with human services)

Iowa Concern Hotline 1-800-447-1985 for volunteers and donations

Road Closures Hotline 1-866-452-8510 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily or 24 hours at> .

To apply for federal assistance, contact FEMA at> .

To apply for the State Individual Assistance program contact the Iowa Department of Human Services at and click the “storm help” link.

For current weather forecasts and flood statements, visit


Tomorrow, Governor Chet Culver, Lt. Governor Patty Judge, Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Lang, and representatives from Iowa’s agricultural community will hold a press conference at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, where they will discuss the impact of this year’s flooding on Iowa’s Agricultural community.

The event will be the kick off for a helicopter tour of agricultural flood damage to be lead by Lt. Governor Patty Judge. Joining the Lt. Governor will be Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and representatives from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the US Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, the Iowa Corngrowers Association, the Iowa Pork Producers, and the Iowa Soybean Association. They will hold media availabilities in Cedar Rapids and Burlington during their tour.

WHAT: Governor Culver and Lt. Governor Judge to kick-off agricultural flood damage tour with a press conference at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

WHERE: Iowa Farm Bureau Federation


5400 University Avenue

West Des Moines, IA

WHEN: 10:30am

WHAT: Lt. Governor Judge and representatives from Iowa’s agricultural community will hold a media availability regarding their tour of agricultural flood damage.

WHERE: Landmark Aviation FBO

9430 Shepherd Court

Cedar Rapids International Airport

Cedar Rapids, IA

WHEN: 2:00pm

WHAT: Lt. Governor Judge and representatives from Iowa’s agricultural community will hold a media availability regarding their tour of agricultural flood damage.

WHERE: Southeast Iowa Regional Airport – Administration Building

2515 Summer Street

Burlington, IA

WHEN: 3:45pm


A copy of previous briefings can be found at the Flood 2008 Resource Website at Click on the ‘News’ link.