Insurance Company Opens Disaster Center in Iowa City

By Claire Kellett, Anchor/Reporter


By Aaron Hepker

IOWA CITY - With widespread damage in Iowa City, one insurance company opened a national catastrophe center Tuesday. It’s helping homeowners get a jump start on rebuilding their lives.

Paul and Joy Maske were in Arizona when the tornadoes tore apart their home. A phone call from their son abruptly ended their annual trip south. Paul said, “I thought he was kidding, he got real serious about it, we knew right away, didn't know how bad it was."

Well, they say it's worse than what everyone said. They say the damage was overwhelming, but their plea for help was immediate. Two days after the storm, a state farm insurance adjustor assessed the damage for six hours.

And the Maske house is just one of several stops. State Farm insurance agent Randy Stevens said, “As of today five o'clock we had 168 wind and hail claims." Randy Stevens is one of only seven insurance agents in Iowa City. That's why State Farm called in the reserves. Members of its national catastrophe team have come from as far away as Florida and Nevada. And they say they'll be in the Hawkeye State for a while. Jack Snyderm is on the team. “Sixty to ninety days, probably scale back then, but have a presence here for quite some time."

And that's reassuring for families like the Maskes. “We've lived in this house for 45 years and here we go again, starting over again, it's okay to gives us something to do, six months before go back to Arizona."

But they hope Mother Nature doesn't cut short their next trip short.

Email Claire Kellett at

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