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President Trump signs Iowa disaster declaration, to visit Tuesday

Eric Fish takes a break from hauling downed branches in front of his home, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The storm that struck Monday morning left tens of thousands of Iowans without power as of Friday morning. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

A derecho with hurricane-force wind gusts exceeding 100 mph destroyed or extensively damaged 8,200 homes and 13 million acres of corn, about a third of the state’s crop land.

Posted: Aug 17, 2020 11:27 AM
Updated: Aug 17, 2020 6:43 PM

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration that will supply federal money to help Iowa recover from an unusual wind storm that struck a week ago.

“I’ve just approved an emergency declaration for Iowa, who had an incredible windstorm like probably they’ve never seen before," Trump said Monday before he left Washington for a campaign trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin. “Really did a lot of damage."

Trump is planning to visit Iowa on Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said during a news conference, but she provided no details.

Reynolds filed an expedited presidential major disaster declaration on Sunday seeking $3.99 billion.

A derecho with hurricane-force wind gusts exceeding 100 mph destroyed or extensively damaged 8,200 homes and 13 million acres (5.3 million hectares) of corn, about a third of the state’s crop land, she said. The Aug. 10 storm killed at least three people in the state.

More than a half million people lost power in the storm, and utility companies said about 65,000 people remained without electricity Monday afternoon.

The federal funds Iowa requested would cover $3.78 billion in agriculture losses, $100 million for private utilities, $82 million for homes and $45 million for public assistance.

Reynolds and the federal government has come under criticism for not acting quickly or doing enough.

Former Democratic Lt. Governor Patty Judge, who was Iowa’s homeland security adviser during the massive floods in 2008 that upended many of the same communities hit by the derecho, criticized Vice President Mike Pence for visiting Iowa on Thursday for a campaign stop but not visiting damaged farms or cities.

She also noted Trump’s comments that he might visit.

“Iowans in trouble should be a top priority, not a veiled PR stunt,” she said. “We need leaders who care and who will act immediately when needed, not a week later when they realize their numbers need a boost.”

Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand, also a Democrat, spent 48 hours in Cedar Rapids from Friday to Sunday with a chainsaw helping to clear trees from a home, streets, sidewalks and driveways.

He said Reynolds could have moved much quicker by sending an abbreviated request to FEMA intended “for those catastrophes of unusual severity and magnitude when field damage assessments are not necessary to determine the requirement for supplemental federal assistance.” The process was used in 2008 when a tornado struck Parkersburg, Iowa, destroying hundreds of homes. President George W. Bush approved help within 24 hours.

“The level of assistance that is needed over there, it just punches you in the face,” he said.

Reynolds said she had sought money from a much more substantive program that offers more options for federal aid.

“We set a record getting it done,” she said. ’Let’s think about what we are able to do by heroic efforts by some tremendous state employees that are working around the clock to get the resources to Iowans. We have it now and let’s move forward.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 2440
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Washington623372
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Scott354934
Olmsted335930
St. Louis314271
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Chisago11142
Crow Wing108322
Benton10099
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Otter Tail9217
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Morrison8029
Steele7873
Polk7864
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Nicollet75618
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Marshall1371
Lake1290
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Mahnomen1282
Norman1280
Grant1024
Red Lake822
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Cook180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 119931

Reported Deaths: 1677
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19440289
Woodbury735998
Johnson596531
Black Hawk5862102
Linn5823132
Dubuque538358
Scott474442
Story408218
Dallas352547
Pottawattamie333245
Sioux249817
Buena Vista227912
Marshall209036
Webster192315
Plymouth170331
Wapello157362
Clinton151627
Muscatine151258
Des Moines147310
Cerro Gordo146127
Crawford137014
Warren12947
Carroll118913
Jasper115034
Henry10955
Marion104811
Tama98637
Lee98311
Delaware81713
Dickinson7769
Wright7481
Boone7369
Mahaska72824
Bremer7029
Harrison68415
Washington67711
Jackson6623
Benton6222
Lyon5598
Clay5474
Louisa53415
Winnebago50619
Winneshiek4969
Cedar4947
Hardin4887
Kossuth4850
Hamilton4794
Buchanan4755
Poweshiek47211
Jones4704
Clayton4613
Floyd45211
Emmet44620
Iowa4299
Page4190
Guthrie41315
Mills4133
Cass4123
Cherokee4112
Sac4074
Butler3963
Franklin39318
Shelby3932
Fayette3924
Allamakee3879
Madison3713
Chickasaw3691
Clarke3573
Humboldt3503
Hancock3394
Grundy3326
Palo Alto3262
Calhoun3234
Osceola2930
Mitchell2881
Howard2819
Monroe26411
Union2635
Taylor2522
Jefferson2471
Monona2472
Pocahontas2382
Appanoose2343
Fremont2121
Lucas2106
Ida2082
Adair1911
Greene1890
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