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FEMA denies Gov. Reynolds' request for assistance to individuals impacted by tornadoes in Marshall, Polk counties

Governor will appeal to FEMA


DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds has received notification that her request has been denied for federal disaster assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses impacted by the July 19, 2018, tornadoes in Marshall and Polk counties.


On Aug. 17, the governor requested the Individual Assistance Program be made available to residents and businesses affected by the July 19 tornadoes in Marshall and Polk counties. Individual Assistance Program funding provides disaster survivors with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses and legal services.


In its denial letter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it had determined the impact to individuals and households from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to warrant a designation of Individual Assistance.


The governor has 30 days to file an appeal with FEMA. The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will be working closely with local emergency management agencies to determine additional damage and impacts caused by the tornadoes and severe weather.


This is the second denial of federal disaster assistance for Iowans this year. In August, FEMA denied the governor’s request for the Individual Assistance Program for homeowners, renters and businesses in four counties that were impacted by flooding and severe storms from June 6 to July 2. Gov. Reynolds submitted an appeal letter to FEMA on Sept. 11, asking it to reconsider its denial of that request.


Federal assistance granted for public and nonprofit entities

The governor’s request for disaster assistance funding for the repair of public infrastructure damaged by the July 19 tornadoes and severe storms in four counties was granted on Sept. 12. In addition, her earlier request for disaster assistance for public and nonprofit entities in 30 counties following the flooding and severe weather from June 6 to July 2 was granted Aug. 20.


The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.