President Barack Obama last week approved Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s request for a presidential disaster declaration for 26 counties that were adversely impacted by severe weather in June. Iowa counties included in the presidential declaration are Allamakee, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Woodbury and Wright.

Branstad made the request in response to significant damage that was caused by severe storms, damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rain, hail and flooding that occurred June 14-23. The presidential declaration will open up federal funding to the declared counties under the public assistance program. Additional requests for a presidential disaster declaration may be sent at a later date as the state continues to assess damage.