Editor’s note: the request was approved by President Trump on Monday, August 17.
DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds on Sunday requested an expedited federal disaster declaration to aid Iowa counties ravaged by last week’s a derecho that caused damage preliminarily estimated at nearly $4 billion — including $3.77 billion in crop damage in 36 counties.
The Aug. 10 storm, to which authorities attribute at least three deaths, also caused about $100 million in damage to private utilities still struggling to return power to storm-stricken communities, along with $82.73 million in damage to at least 8,273 homes that were destroyed or severely damaged and nearly $45.3 million in public assistance needs for Iowans caught in the storm’s path.
Of that nearly $45.3 million request, $21.6 million could cover debris removal, $14.46 million would go to utilities and $7.53 million would be for structures.
On the farm industry side, the U.S. Agriculture Department estimated 3.57 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans were impacted in 36 hardest-hit counties for an estimated loss of $3.77 billion.
“From cities to farms, Iowans are hurting, many still have challenges with shelter, food, and power. Resilience is in our DNA, but we’re going to need a strong and timely federal response to support recovery efforts,” Reynolds said in a statement.
“I have formally requested an expedited presidential major disaster declaration to secure this critical federal assistance as quickly as possible,” she added. “This past week I had conversations with President (Donald) Trump and Vice President (Mike) Pence, both have pledged the full support of the federal government. I am very grateful for their continued partnership and commitment during this disaster.”
In the request to the president, Reynolds said the state will need at least $3,998,010,354 from federal emergency agencies to recover.
Under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individual Assistance Program, the governor requested assistance 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 and Washington.
The damage estimates were generated by using photographs, aerial photography and GIS analysis.