IOWA DERECHO 2020

He can't say when, but Sen. Grassley confident of derecho recovery aid for more Iowa counties

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks during a disaster recovery briefing with President Donald Trump on Aug. 18 at The Ea
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks during a disaster recovery briefing with President Donald Trump on Aug. 18 at The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

It’s not a matter of if, but when federal assistance will be available for Iowans who suffered damage in the Aug. 10 derecho, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday.

“When the dollars actually arrive, I don’t know,” Grassley told reporters, “but there’s no question about the dollars arriving for individuals or for cities or for whatever the law allows. If you qualify, you’re going to get the help.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that 10 more counties have been approved for FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program: Benton, Boone, Cedar, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story and Tama.

Previously, Linn County was the only area that received a presidential disaster declaration designation that includes individual assistance.

Residents in those 11 counties may apply for FEMA individual assistance that provides disaster-affected homeowners, renters and businesses with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses and legal services.

To apply, individuals and business owners who sustained losses may call 1- (800) 621-3362 or 1- (800) 462-7585 for TTY users, or visit disasterrecovery.iowa.gov.

According to initial estimates, Iowa sustained at least $4 billion in damage from the derecho. That included at least 8,273 homes destroyed or with major damage at an estimated cost of $82.7 million; $23.6 million in estimated damage to public infrastructure; $21.6 million in costs associated with removal and disposal of storm debris; and about $100 million in damage to private utilities. The remainder, $3.77 billion, was damage to crops in the 36 hardest-hit counties.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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