Branstad Asked For Presidential Disaster Declaration

By Rod Boshart, Reporter

DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad on Monday asked President Obama to issue a presidential disaster declaration for nine Iowa counties that sustained multi-million dollars worth of damage due to inclement weather that hit parts of Iowa early last month.

In his letter to the president, Branstad requested federal assistance for Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor and Wayne counties as a result of damaging winds, hail, heavy rains and thunderstorms that occurred on June 3-4, causing nearly $5.6 million based on preliminary estimates.

The governor noted that storms entering Iowa on June 3 produced straight-line winds topping 90 mph, hail in excess of two inches in diameter, rainfall amounts exceeding 5.5 inches in some areas, and an EF2 tornado with peak winds estimated at 115 mph near the city of Oakland.

“I determined that the severity of the damage in Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor, and Wayne counties is so great that Joint Federal, State, and local Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments were required,” Branstad said in his letter.

The violent weather resulted in injuries, evacuations, power and communication outages, as well as damage to residential homes, critical public facilities and infrastructure, the governor noted. “With spring planting having just concluded in much of the state, young crops were severely damaged and destroyed by hail and heavy rains,” he added in his letter.

An itemized damage estimate included nearly $2.86 million for roads and bridges, more than $1.5 million for utilities and $570,000 for debris removal costs.

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