Agronomy Hall

Tree damage next to Agronomy Hall caused by the Aug. 10 derecho storm.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Aug. 17 at 9:22 p.m. to include information regarding individual assistance.

Iowa’s application for a major federal disaster declaration was approved by President Donald Trump after the derecho hit the state Aug. 10. 

Trump informed the media he would approve the application Monday morning and said he will visit Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Tuesday to survey the storm damage while visiting Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The approval came after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds formally requested an expedited disaster declaration in response to the derecho.

The $3.9 billion comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance (FEMA) program. There’s an estimated $3.77 billion in losses of soybean and corn crops and $82,730,000 in major home damage. 

The storm killed three Iowans and left more than a half-million Iowans without power at its peak. Estimates of 10 million acres of cropland in total were left damaged.

Trump approved public assistance for local and state governments in 16 counties: Story, Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott and Tama, to receive federal funding for repairs and emergency work.

Trump has yet to approve Reynolds’ request, which would provide individual assistance for 27 counties in Iowa including Story, Audubon, Benton, Boone, Cass, Cedar, Clarke, Clinton, Dallas, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Madison, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Tama and Washington.

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer issued a statement after additional information was provided by FEMA to the Congressional Delegation previously stating “full” approval of the state’s request. 

"While I am appreciative of the President’s quick action in approving Public Assistance for Iowa communities to clean up and rebuild, I’m deeply disappointed he has not granted the State of Iowa’s full request for Individual Assistance, including assistance to individuals and homeowners, in response to the derecho storm that devastated Cedar Rapids and communities across eastern Iowa,"  Finkenauer said in her release. “We must ensure no Iowan is left behind by this tragedy. I ask the president to rectify his omission immediately."  

"I will continue fighting for a fast and comprehensive review of the impacts of this storm on Iowa families and businesses — and all necessary and appropriate federal relief for families as well as local governments," she said. 

According to Reynolds’ request, the initial analysis of the impacted area showed 275,000 residential parcels experienced wind speeds from 75 to 112 mph, of that, 8,273 structures experienced major damage or were destroyed.

(1) comment

Daniel Bell

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it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief,

it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light,

it was the season of Darkness,

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it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

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