Gov. Reynolds visits Iowa Veterans Home
The Iowa Veterans Home had millions of dollars worth damage from Monday’s storm.
Gov. Kim Reynolds visited the Iowa Veterans Home Wednesday to observe damage caused by Monday’s derecho that caused $4 to $5 million worth of destruction. The fitness center lost its roof completely.
Three staff members received minor injuries, one worker twisted an ankle after the storm and two members of the nursing staff were hit with flying debris.
“This is even more widespread than the tornado was,” Reynolds said.
There are a significant amount of downed power lines all over the state and hundreds of thousands of people are still without power.
“I’ve tried to set the expectation at the press conference on Tuesday that this is going to be a little bit longer than Iowans are normally used to. There’s such wide spread significant damage to even the big gladius towers,” Reynolds said. “It’s presenting some challenges we don’t normally have because it’s so expansive.”
Reynolds takes heart from the response of emergency managers, responders and everyday citizens who have gone out to help people stuck or in danger all around Iowa.
“Iowans are one big small town and they show up and they help,” she said.
She wants to make sure people are mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic while repairing it after the derecho.
“We have a lot of resources coming into the state because we have so much line damage,” Reynolds said. “We need to think about how to bring people together and social distance them and then help them.”
She thinks this is one of the worst disasters to hit Iowa.
“This is one of the worst,” Reynolds said. “I’m sure we’ll meet the criteria for a federal disaster.”
As of Wednesday, 23 Iowa counties have requested state emergency disaster relief.
“We’re still calculating what the cost is and we’ll be doing that for a while,” Reynolds said.
The disaster declaration assists individuals in those areas, and Reynolds is looking at ways to help out businesses, cities and counties.
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