• FEMA rejects disaster aid appeal for tornado that hit Marshall and Polk counties

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    December 13, 2018

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has notified Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office that her appeal for disaster assistance for tornado victims in Marshall and Polk counties has been denied.

    In August, Reynolds requested that the federal Individual Assistance Program be made available to residents and businesses affected by tornadoes July 19.

    FEMA denied the request, which Reynolds appealed but was again rejected by FEMA, saying the storm’s effect was not severe or widespread enough for individual assistance.

    President Donald Trump declared Marshall County a presidential disaster in September and Polk County a presidential disaster in August, making public assistance funds available to both counties.

    On Monday, members of the Iowa Executive Council voted 3-0 to allocate $277,483 of a $1.05 million state allocation to help repair buildings and infrastructure damaged in the July 19 tornado that hit Marshalltown, Pella and other communities.

    Federal and state aid totaled $8.2 million, but state officials said damage to buildings and infrastructure in Marshalltown exceeded $30 million — much of which was covered by private insurance.

    Council members also approved nearly $1.1 million this fiscal year of a $5.6 million state allocation to 31 Iowa counties hit by storms between June 6 and July 2. Federal and state aid totaled $37.4 million under a presidential disaster declaration.

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