A devasting storm known as a Derecho tore through parts of Iowa last week affecting several counties including Cedar Rapids. President Trump spoke from the White House on Monday. “I love the people of Iowa. They’ve been very loyal,” he said. “The big thing was getting the declaration signed but I’ll be going very soon.”
The President made good on his promise and visited Iowa on Tuesday and remarked from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, “My administration is already working with Iowa officials, some of whom are with us now, to provide aid and to assess the damage. Winds from 80 to 110 miles per hour have carved a path of destruction through over half of Iowa’s really great counties, many of which I got to know over the years. Up to 43 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crops have been damaged or totally destroyed. Three hundred and thirty-two cell towers were damaged”. He continued, “Impacting one million residents. Nearly half a million of the Iowa Electric customers lost power, but I understand the power is back to about 90 percent”.
“Iowans have always been resilient and strong and tough and great people,” Trump said. “From the depths of this grave hardship, we will rebuild until we are stronger than we were before.”
“Is the world aware of what happened in Iowa? Because that’s really something,” Trump said during the roundtable discussion with Iowa leaders about the devastation in the state. “We’re going to take care of it,” he promised. Senator Chuck Grassley (R) thanked President Trump for visiting the state and signing a disaster declaration for the state, “You’re stepping up to help with that declaration and we thank you,” he said.
The President approved the Iowa Disaster Declaration on Monday which assisted Iowa with $45 million for the public assistance portion of Governor Reynold’s request. The remainder of the request was for individual assistance for 27 counties that included $82.7 million for homes that sustained major damage or were destroyed by the storm. There was also a request for $3.77 billion for agriculture damage to farmland, grain bins, and buildings and $100 million for private utility repairs.
A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman said in an email that President Trump had approved the public assistance portion of the governor’s request totaling about $45 million covering 16 counties. “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.”
The AP reported today, “President Donald Trump approved Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for eastern Iowa’s Linn County — the hardest-hit by last week’s rare hurricane-strength wind storm.”
Governor Kim Reynolds’ office announced the approval Thursday night. The FEMA individual assistance program helps homeowners, renters, and businesses affected by natural disasters. It includes assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses, and legal services.
President @realDonaldTrump’s swift and decisive response will deliver critical assistance for our state as we recover from #Derecho2020! Thank you Mr. President for this continued partnership! pic.twitter.com/tygvHVQupo
— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) August 21, 2020
A Tweet by Political Farm on Twitter explains the devastation that Iowans have endured since the storm hit last week and pointed out the lack of mainstream coverage.
What’s going on in Iowa?⚡️ pic.twitter.com/tMiwOnGglF
— Political Farm 🇺🇸 (@politicalfarm) August 18, 2020
Pete Gaynor, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, traveled to Iowa on Monday and assessed the damage. In a tweet today he stated, “Yesterday, President Trump approved individual assistance for affected residents of Linn County, IA as a result of severe storms on 8/10.
All residents & business owners who sustained losses can apply for assistance online at DistasterAssistance.gov“.
All residents & business owners who sustained losses can apply for assistance online at https://t.co/uiBrAawShK.
— Pete Gaynor (@FEMA_Pete) August 21, 2020