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Gov. Reynolds officially requests expedited Presidential Major Disaster Declaration amid derecho devastation

The request includes almost $4 billion of disaster relief money, to be distributed among 27 Iowa counties.
Credit: WOI

DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds put in an official request for an expedited Presidential Major Disaster Declaration Sunday, according to the Governor's Office.

The request comes six days after a derecho, sometimes known as an "inland hurricane," ripped through Iowa, causing widespread damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power, with some waiting several days to get it restored.

Included in the request was a total of nearly $4 billion in relief money, to be distributed to the Iowa counties and communities that were most severely impacted in the storm's wake.

The funds were requested under FEMA's Individual Assistance program for 27 Iowa counties:

  • Audubon
  • Benton
  • Boone 
  • Cass
  • Cedar 
  • Clarke 
  • Clinton
  • Dallas
  • Greene
  • Grundy
  • Guthrie
  • Hardin
  • Iowa
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Johnson
  • Jones
  • Linn
  • Madison 
  • Marshall
  • Muscatine 
  • Polk
  • Poweshiek 
  • Scott 
  • Story 
  • Tama
  • Washington

The 17 bolded counties also had funds for infrastructure repair and debris removal requested for them under FEMA's Public Assistance Program.

The Governor's Office says work on drafting the letter began immediately after the storm hit, and involved a "multi-level approach" led by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Reynolds says getting a request sent within six days of a disaster like this doesn't happen very often.

“With rapid approval, this declaration will provide a significant level of federal resources to support the state and local response,” Gov. Reynolds said. 

“While it is unconventional for a major disaster declaration request of this magnitude to be assembled and approved within a matter of days, it is essential that our request is expedited and approved as quickly as possible.”

You'll find the governor's complete request below:

It's currently estimated that 8,273 homes either suffered major damaged or were destroyed in the derecho.  The estimated damage to public infrastructure is worth $23.6 million.

It's also estimated that debris removal and disposal, all in all, will cost about $21.6 million.

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