With the forecast calling for more storms tonight — and potentially heavy rainfall — state officials are preparing for the worst. Ellen Gordon, the director of the Emergency Management Division, says this morning and afternoon they started strategically locating some additional pumps, sandbags and personnel in southern Iowa in event the heavy rains cause flooding. Gordon says in addition, if there are tornadoes or high winds, they’ll have the equipment and people in the right places. The governor has declared 22 counties disaster areas. Five more counties were added to the list this afternoon. Boone, Johnson, Pocahontas, Page, and Wright Counties were added because of the recent severe weather and flooding. Other counties receiving disaster declarations are Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Hancock, Humboldt, Jones, Kossuth, Mitchell and Winnebago.Vilsack has asked for an “expedited response” for a federal disaster declaration. Gordon can’t say when they might hear from the federal government. She says it would be ideal to hear something yet today — but she admits that’s probably too idealistic. She says hopefully they’ll hear something by tomorrow — but she doesn’t know. Gordon’s happy with the response to the storms and flooding thus far. She says the operations seem to be going very well.
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