Polk County, Iowa flood recovery UPDATE

DES MOINES, Iowa-  State and federal flood damage assessments are underway in Polk County.   A.J. Mumm, Director of Polk County Emergency Management says by the end of this week, or early next week he expects to have a better idea of the outcome of that assessment.   

Polk County is one of 33 Iowa Counties already under a state disaster declaration.  The assessments underway will determine whether or not there will be federal disaster help, from FEMA, for public infrastructure damage, and individual assistance, as well as low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration.

The acting director of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Joyce Flinn,  says severe weather and/or flooding this spring and summer has caused more than $16 million in damages in the 33-counties under a state disaster declaration.

The earlier state declarations triggered the Individual Assistance Program for low income Iowans.   Anne Bacon with the IMPACT Community Action Partnership, in Des Moines says so far, 700 applications have come in from low income residents, impacted by the flood.  She expects that number to rise.  Each household may receive up to $5,000 for qualifying household items, such as temporary housing, food assistance, personal property, and home repair.

The program is for households at or below 200-percent of Federal Poverty Level.   Polk County residents MUST send in applications by August 18, 2018.

Polk County's local IMPACT Resource Centers are at the following locations:

3226 University Avenue in Des Moines, 515-518-477-0500 

Army Post Road, Suite 17, Des Moines, 515-274-9496

2701 SE Convenience Blvd, Suite 2, Ankeny, 515-965-0433

The flash flood early this month damaged more than 44-hundred homes in Polk County.    Officials say more than 1,300 had minor damage, 91 had major damage, and 25 were destroyed.  Nearly three dozen commercial properties were also affected.   

Mumm says the figures are expected to rise, as people are still calling 2-1-1 to report damage.

Other notes from today's briefing:

*Homeowners in Des Moines who want to check to see if their property is on the city's buy-out list, can call 515-283-4561.

*The 2-1-1 call center is still open, 24-7.   Officials say the call center has logged more than 3,000 calls since the flash flood early this month.  

*More than 500 local, and out-of-state volunteers have logged more than 6,000 hours cleaning up after the flood.  Mumm says the value of all that work far exceeds $150,000.

*The Polk County Health Department is asking homeowners to do their best to avoid the growth of mold, by removing wet items from flooded properties.  

*Officials are also reminding homeowners to be careful not to fall for clean-up scam artists.

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