(Sunday night), Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) urged President Trump to quickly approve a petition for federal disaster declaration filed Sunday evening in the aftermath of last week’s derecho that has devasted communities across Iowa, leaving thousands still without power and millions of crop acres damaged.
In a letter to President Trump, Rep. Axne joined Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Representatives Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Steve King (IA-04) to support Governor Kim Reynolds’ formal request for a federal disaster declaration – a move that Axne urged Governor Reynolds to take last week after speaking with county emergency managers and local officials from her district.
“While I have been grateful to see countless Iowans stepping up to lend a hand to their neighbors and communities in the aftermath of this storm, we need the support of federal agencies and disaster relief funds to back up their selfless efforts and get these communities back on their feet as soon as possible,” said Rep. Axne. “I hope the President recognizes the severity of this disaster and approves the aid Iowans desperately need as soon as possible.”
Last week, a state disaster declaration was issued for five counties within Iowa’s Third Congressional District: Cass, Dallas, Guthrie, Madison, and Polk.
Households can also contact their local Community Action Agency to develop and carry out a Disaster Recovery Plan.
For disaster crisis counseling, Iowans can call the Iowa Concern Hotline at (800) 447-1985.
The full text of the letter to President Trump can be found below:
Dear Mr. President:
We respectfully ask that you promptly grant the request made by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds for an expedited review of the major disaster declaration for the State of Iowa as a result of severe storms on August 10, 2020. This weather caused significant damage to public infrastructure and private property.
Governor Reynolds has requested Hazard Mitigation statewide and activation of the Public Assistance and Individual Assistance. Public Assistance was requested for Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama counties. Individual Assistance was requested for 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 Counties.
The storm damage to residential and commercial structures along with the extended periods of power outages, many still without power, has exacerbated the situation for residents already experiencing financial and food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wind damage also caused devastating impacts to agricultural land. It is estimated that 13 million acres of corn was lost, just prior to harvest, devastating the agricultural industry. These lost acres account for approximately 33 percent of cropland across the state.
The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and supplementary federal assistance is necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.
Thank you for your prompt consideration of this important request.