FEMA denies appeal for individual disaster assistance from Marshalltown tornado

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds' appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency with regards to individual disaster assistance for victims of central Iowa tornadoes on July 19 was denied, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced Tuesday.

Marshalltown (Source: Dan Runner)

The agency affirmed their earlier ruling in the appeal decision that the impact in Marshall and Polk counties was not widespread or severe enough to qualify for the individual assistance program. Public assistance funds were made available to the affected counties after President Donald Trump declared them a federal disaster area in the months following the storms.

Reynolds initially submitted the request for federal individual aid for the affected areas on Aug. 17. That request was denied on Sept. 14, and the governor appealed that decision on Sept. 28.

Funding for affected residents is still available through state disaster assistance programs, which were opened up by Gov. Reynolds with a disaster proclamation in July. The state is also offering $1 million in emergency funding for businesses affected in downtown Marshalltown through the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

In an additional step in October, the governor announced a program called VALOR to help affected residents to make minor emergency home repairs to make the structures livable. Those that need assistance in that manner have until Dec. 27 to apply.

Several tornadoes struck central Iowa on July 19, causing the most significant damage to Marshalltown and Pella. State estimates suggest over 900 residences in Marshalltown sustained damage.