Webster Co. disaster declaration targets damage to roads

Recent water damage to roads and trails in Webster County has been significant enough to result in a disaster proclamation from Gov. Terry Branstad.

Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Webster County and four other counties Friday. It is for damage sustained since May 19.

Issuing the proclamation is a step toward securing a federal disaster declaration which would provide money to help pay for repairs, according to Tony Jorgensen, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

Branstad’s action does not give Webster County any money to make repairs.

The governor’s proclamation for Webster County covers only public infrastructure. He did not activate the Iowa Individual Assistance Program which would provide grants to residents to pay for repairs.

Jorgensen said he submitted a report to state officials outlining water damage to county roads, some streets in Dayton and trails in Fort Dodge. He said a damage assessment team will visit the county to size up the problems.

Several days of rain that began just before Memorial Day pushed the Des Moines River above flood stage in Fort Dodge. However, there was no significant flooding. A number of rural roads, mostly in the southeast corner of the county, were closed.

The affected roads were:

South River Road near the wastewater treatment plant in Fort Dodge.

The road through Dolliver Memorial State Park.

Xavier Avenue between Vegors Cemetery and the bridge over the Boone River.

McGuire Bend Road.

River Road southwest of Stratford.

Fairbanks Avenue under the railroad trestle south of Iowa Highway 7.

About 1,000 sandbags had been stockpiled in Lehigh in case there was flooding in that city, but none of them were used.

Branstad also issued a disaster proclamation for Appanoose, Lee, Muscatine and Wayne counties on Friday. He activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Fayette and Muscatine counties.