Governor Chet Culver has sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to declare 35 Iowa counties, including Marion, federal disaster areas. The request comes after weeks of storms and flooding across a large portion of the state. If designated a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster, the state could be eligible for public and individual assistance in the next few weeks. Culver requested that 18 counties be considered for Individual Assistance, and Marion County is one of 32 counties requested for federal Public Assistance. Currently, 31 counties in the state are eligible for the state’s individual assistance program which provides up to $5,000 in reimbursement funds to homeowners who qualify.