Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds on Tuesday issued a disaster declaration for six counties that suffered severe damage and losses in Monday’s derecho storm and she expects more counties to be added soon.
The governor’s initial proclamation includes Boone, Clinton, Dallas, Johnson, Marshall and Story Counties. The governor says 13 counties have requested disaster relief help from her office.
Noticeably absent from the list are Polk and Linn Counties, the most populous in the state and the counties with the largest number of residents without power. As of Noon on Tuesday there are more than 81,000 Des Moines metro residences without power; more than 94,000 in Linn County are still in the dark. Governor Reynolds says she will tour damage in Linn and Tama counties today.
There are widespread reports of agricultural damage in rural areas of the state. Governor Reynolds says the initial estimate is that 10 million acres of cropland were damaged on Monday. That is nearly one-third of cropland in the state.
Joyce Flinn, Director of the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management, is urging farmers to document damage to their fields and equipment immediately. Farmers can begin the disaster relief process by contacting their local farm services agency.
Among the relief available to most Iowans due to the disaster is money to replace food that has spoiled due to lost power. Flinn says Iowans earning up to 200% of the Federal Poverty level are eligible for $50 for individuals or $25 per member of the household if they qualify for the program. Flinn says the Department of Human Services will manage that fund.
Monday’s storm is also affecting the state’s COVID-19 response. Drive-up testing sites in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Marshalltown are now closed temporarily. The governor says its too early to know when the sites will re-open. The Iowa Department of Public Health says it expects a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations this week as residents of long term care facilities that are without power are being transferred to hospitals.
Governor Reynolds says numerous state facilities were also damaged by the storm. The Woodward Resource Center and the Iowa Veterans Home both suffered significant damages to their roofs in the storm.