- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has received a nearly $97 million federal grant to address the state’s water quality and flood challenges, officials announced Friday.

Gov. Terry Branstad, along with state and local leaders said the state was awarded the money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to help speed up flood reduction and water quality efforts in Iowa’s key watersheds over the next five years.

As a key component of the grant funding, Dubuque received $31.5 million to assist Bee Branch Watershed homeowners in repairing flood-damaged homes, a city news release said. The city partnered with the state to apply for the federal funds.

“Dubuque is extremely grateful to receive such significant support for our resiliency and flood mitigation efforts,” Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol said. “This competition is a great example of the federal government supporting the efforts of local and state governments to address flooding issues.”

Iowa is among 13 states and cities to receive the award, which is a part of the Natural Disaster Resilience Competition. The state was awarded the fourth-largest grant of any applicant.

Besides the Bee Branch Creek, the grant will target the Clear Creek; East Nishnabotna; English River; North Raccoon River, Middle Cedar River; Upper Iowa; Upper Wapsipinicon River; and West Nishnabotna River watersheds.

“I am proud that Iowa is being recognized for our leadership in advancing innovative and data-driven flood reduction and water quality efforts,” Branstad said.

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