Washington, DC — The three men who represent northwest Iowa in Washington — Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, and Congressman Steve King — have all asked the President to grant the request made by Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster in response to damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms, freezing rain, and ice and snow this month.
All three letters included the statement that, the Governor has determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.
Senator Grassley’s letter says that severe weather on April 9, 10, and 11 caused significant damage to utility lines, poles, and vegetation. The Iowa counties with the most severe damage are Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux.
Congressman King’s letter says, QUOTE, “This severe weather has caused extensive damage that Iowans are still recovering from, and I am asking the President to grant the state’s request for a Declaration of Major Disaster. Damages to utility lines, roads and trees have hurt businesses and families in Iowa and public assistance funds will help strengthen recovery and cover the costs of emergency work. I am calling on the President, with the support of Iowa’s House delegation on behalf of the state’s request, to issue a disaster declaration and supply the relief efforts necessary to get these five counties back on their feet again.”
Senator Harkin’s letter mentions that vital local transportation, telecommunications, electrical and public safety systems were severely disrupted. It says that as temperatures remained below freezing, emergency shelters were opened and utilized as warming stations until electrical services were restored.