Decorah, Iowa – Preliminary estimates of damages to public property in August 24th’s flooding are high enough that, beginning Tuesday, four squads of officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) starting visiting Decorah and Northeast Iowa.
DecorahNews.com reports that the FEMA inspectors are meeting with state and local officials in an attempt to verify the damage estimates. In Winneshiek County, it’s estimated the flooding did $2.4 million in damage to public property. Adding in the figures from Allamakee, Bremer, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Mitchell counties produces a total between $4 million and $5 million of damages. In order for the area to be declared a federal disaster area–which would make federal recovery funds available–flooding damages will have to total $4.2 million.
The damage totals do not include damage to private property, which is not considered by FEMA in the possible disaster declaration. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency says 165 private homes and buildings in Winneshiek County were affected by the flooding.
If the FEMA crews believe the August 24th flooding meets the criteria for federal disaster area designation, they will notify the Iowa Governor’s Office, which will make the announcement.