Iowa “hurting” after powerful storm as governor seeks nearly $4 billion in disaster aid

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Iowa homes, cornfields, utility companies and government agencies have losses estimated at nearly $4 billion from last week’s unusual storm, Governor Kim Reynolds said Sunday. The governor announced she’s filing an expedited presidential major disaster declaration with the federal government seeking that much money to rebuild and repair.

“From cities to farms, Iowans are hurting, many still have challenges with shelter, food, and power,” Reynolds said.

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

More than a half million people were without electricity in the immediate aftermath of the storm. As of Sunday evening utility companies reported about 83,000 people remained without power.

Alliant Energy reported about 2,500 utility poles were damaged beyond repair and ITC Midwest, which owns power lines, reported about 1,200 miles of lines torn down by the winds. About 500 miles had been repaired by Sunday.

Alliant Energy wrote on Twitter that it hopes to have power restored to a majority of customers by Tuesday.

The storm left at least three people dead in the state.

The money Iowa is seeking from the federal government includes $3.78 billion in agriculture losses, $100 million for private utilities, $82 million for homes and $45 million for public assistance.

CBS affiliate KCCI-TV reports the Iowa National Guard is aiding in derecho recovery efforts. According to a spokesperson for Governor Reynolds, 100 engineers will assist with debris.

Last week, Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said damage from the derecho is worse than damage cause by the floods of 2008, the station reported.





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