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FEMA helps out almost 400 people in Marshall County

T-R PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer visits the FEMA center in Marshalltown on Monday to get an update on derercho recovery. She is joined by Mayor Joel Greer.

The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Marshalltown has helped almost 400 people with recovery assistance since the Aug. 10 derecho.

On Saturday, the unit will pack up and relocate to the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel. It will be in operation there from Monday to Oct. 10.

U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (R-Iowa) visited the FEMA center on Monday to get an update on how things have been.

“I am going all over the district to follow up on derecho recovery,” Finkenauer said. “I think it is important to highlight the work that has been done and for people to know where they can go.”

John Mills, the FEMA spokesman, said FEMA has provided 85 Marshall County households with $423,000 in grants and $174,000 to 19 households in Tama County. Also, $180,000 in Small Business Administration disaster loans have been provided in Marshall County.

Mills said FEMA has begun working with local governments to provide assistance for disaster recovery, such as debris removal and emergency protection.

“We are working with local governments one-on-one and we will pay 75 percent,” he said.

The deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance in Marshall and Tama counties was extended to Oct. 19. Mills said it is not necessary for people to visit on-site to get help from FEMA.

“The easiest way is to call on the phone at 1-800-621-3362 or go online at www.disasterassistance.gov,” he said. “If they have questions, they can call FEMA directly. We are working with everyone case-by-case.”

DuWayne Tewes, the FEMA federal coordinating officer for Iowa, is proud of the units set up following the derecho.

“I think they have done a phenomenal job and they also have had to adjust to COVID and not doing things the way we did them a year ago,” he said. “The local partners have been so understanding.”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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