President Trump signs a portion of Iowa's disaster relief request

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign stop at North Star Aviation in Mankato, Minn., Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

President Donald Trump has signed only a portion of an emergency declaration to supply federal money to help Iowa recover from an unusual wind storm that struck a week ago.

Posted: Aug 18, 2020 6:15 AM

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday he had signed an emergency declaration for Iowa to help supply federal money to help the state recover from an unusual wind storm that struck a week ago but federal emergency management officials later confirmed he had only signed a portion of the request.

Trump claimed on his official presidential Twitter account Monday afternoon that he had “Just approved (and fast) the FULL Emergency Declaration for the Great State of Iowa. They got hit hard by record setting winds.”

Reynolds replied on her personal Twitter account: “Thank you President @realDonaldTrump for your unwavering commitment to the state of Iowa.”

A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman said in an email that Trump had approved the public assistance portion of the governor’s request totaling about $45 million covering 16 counties. That portion of the declaration provides debris removal and repair to government buildings and utilities. He did not, however, approve the individual assistance request for 27 counties that includes $82.7 million for homes destroyed or with major damage and $3.77 billion for agriculture damage to farm land, grain bins and buildings and $100 million for private utilities repair.

“FEMA will continue our joint preliminary damage assessments to determine any further eligible assistance,” the FEMA statement said. “The agency is ready to provide any and all eligible assistance and work with the state of Iowa to validate additional storm damages.”

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 were without electricity in the immediate aftermath of the storm. As of Monday evening, utility companies reported about 56,000 people remained without power.

Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer said she appreciated Trump’s quick action on public assistance portion.

“I’m deeply disappointed he has not granted the state of Iowa’s full request for individual assistance, including assistance to individuals and homeowners, in response to the derecho storm that devastated Cedar Rapids and communities across eastern Iowa,” she said in an email statement.

Reynolds’ spokesman did not immediately respond to a message Monday night.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said the individual assistance portion was under review and was expected to be approved. He called criticism partisan attacks.

“Governor Reynolds’ request for assistance and President Trump’s approval of the request is happening in record speed,” he said. “Additional approval for individual assistance is expected soon.”

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

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

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 142311

Reported Deaths: 2472
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin35484995
Ramsey14726372
Dakota10271139
Anoka9344155
Washington636273
Stearns625550
Scott360436
Olmsted340230
St. Louis325874
Wright273116
Clay252944
Nobles234318
Blue Earth21147
Carver18887
Sherburne183122
Kandiyohi18215
Rice170210
Mower154518
Winona133619
Chisago11562
Crow Wing114322
Benton103311
Lyon10306
Beltrami9618
Otter Tail9508
Waseca94510
Todd8967
Polk8364
Morrison8259
Steele8013
Itasca78817
Douglas7744
Nicollet77118
Freeborn7185
Le Sueur6646
Goodhue65111
Martin62618
Becker6214
McLeod6214
Isanti5995
Watonwan5824
Pine5770
Carlton5092
Chippewa4733
Mille Lacs44918
Hubbard4344
Cass4225
Wabasha4141
Dodge4130
Pipestone36617
Meeker3593
Rock3595
Brown3483
Roseau3300
Redwood29912
Yellow Medicine2986
Murray2973
Cottonwood2950
Fillmore2770
Renville27213
Sibley2663
Wadena2643
Faribault2520
Houston2381
Unassigned23853
Kanabec23710
Swift2252
Jackson2211
Pennington2181
Aitkin1982
Stevens1941
Lincoln1930
Koochiching1755
Pope1680
Big Stone1591
Marshall1511
Lac qui Parle1453
Wilkin1454
Clearwater1381
Norman1340
Lake1330
Mahnomen1292
Grant1054
Red Lake822
Traverse590
Kittson530
Lake of the Woods441
Cook190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
Dubuque550658
Scott487343
Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
Buena Vista230212
Marshall212236
Webster196015
Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
Muscatine153958
Des Moines151611
Cerro Gordo150227
Crawford138714
Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
Lee101312
Tama100538
Delaware82713
Dickinson7939
Wright7591
Boone7509
Mahaska73824
Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
Benton6482
Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
Winnebago52119
Cedar5087
Winneshiek5079
Hardin5017
Jones5004
Kossuth4970
Clayton4923
Buchanan4875
Hamilton4825
Poweshiek47611
Floyd46211
Emmet45321
Iowa4429
Cass4233
Mills4233
Guthrie42015
Page4200
Cherokee4122
Sac4114
Butler4083
Fayette4064
Shelby4022
Allamakee3999
Franklin39518
Madison3743
Chickasaw3731
Hancock3676
Humboldt3593
Clarke3573
Grundy3406
Palo Alto3292
Calhoun3264
Osceola3020
Mitchell2961
Howard2879
Monroe27212
Union2645
Taylor2602
Jefferson2591
Appanoose2503
Monona2492
Pocahontas2442
Fremont2152
Lucas2136
Ida2122
Adair1971
Greene1930
Montgomery1907
Davis1884
Van Buren1882
Keokuk1731
Decatur1620
Audubon1601
Worth1470
Wayne1373
Ringgold992
Adams841
Unassigned60
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