Northwest Iowa Utilities Surprised By FEMA Aid Rejection

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By Richard Pratt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa public utility officials say they're surprised by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's rejection of disaster aid, and Iowa's congressional delegation wants a review of the decision.

The Des Moines Register reports FEMA denied a request for $20 million to repair electric systems in northwest Iowa that were damaged by an April storm.

The Osceola, Lyon Rural and Iowa Lakes electric cooperative and Sanborn municipal utility sought aid after lines and poles were damaged by storms.

Utility officials say FEMA denied the aid because the cooperatives didn't meeting power line testing rules. They called them new requirement.

FEMA spokesman Michael Cappannari says the agency hasn't changed its rules, but the utilities can appeal the decision.

Iowa's congressional delegation has asked FEMA for a meeting to review the denial.

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