Thursday, August 20, 2020

Federal derecho aid excludes relief for farmers and homeowners; some could be approved in a week

"A federal major disaster declaration approved Monday does not include financial assistance for Iowans recovering from last week's devastating derecho, despite President Donald Trump tweeting he approved the state's application in 'FULL.' Kim Norvell reports for the Des Moines Register. "Gov. Kim Reynolds' request for $82.7 million to cover the 8,273 homes that were damaged or destroyed was not approved. Neither were her requests for $3.77 billion for agriculture damage to farm land, grain bins and buildings and $100 million for private utilities repair."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is still assessing damage to determine if the state qualifies for more assistance. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said Tuesday it could be another week before individual assistance is approved. The disaster declaration issued Monday, which includes 16 Iowa counties, "includes federal funding for emergency work, such as debris removal, and repair or replacement of storm-damaged facilities for local governments and nonprofits," Reynolds reports.

The Aug. 10 storm carved a 700-mile swath across the Midwest. In Iowa alone, a quarter of a million people remain without power, and nearly half of the corn crop was damaged or destroyed. About 6.1 million acres of corn and soybeans were destroyed, Donelle Eller reports for the Register.

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