President Trump approves Iowa disaster aid after derecho; may visit state soon

Midwest

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to Minnesota and Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Donald Trump said Monday he has signed an emergency declaration for Iowa to help supply federal money to help the state recover from an unusual wind storm that struck a week ago.

“I’ve just approved an emergency declaration for Iowa, who had an incredible windstorm like probably they’ve never seen before,” Trump said before he left Washington for a campaign trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin. “Really did a lot of damage.”

Trump also suggested he may may visit the state.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds filed an expedited presidential major disaster declaration on Sunday seeking $3.99 billion.

A derecho with hurricane-force wind gusts exceeding 100 mph destroyed or extensively damaged 8,200 homes and 13 million acres of corn, about a third of the state’s crop land, she said.

More than a half million people were without electricity in the immediate aftermath of the storm. As of Monday morning, utility companies reported about 64,000 people remained without power.

The storm left at least three people dead in the state.

The money Iowa is seeking from the federal government includes $3.78 billion in agriculture losses, $100 million for private utilities, $82 million for homes and $45 million for public assistance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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