Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s fairly certain President Bush -will- grant a request to declare five central Iowa counties federal disaster areas, following the severe storms of November 12th which brought hail, high winds and several destructive tornadoes.
Grassley says “I don’t know of any time, at least in recent history, that a president has -not- signed off on a request for disaster relief.” The declaration would speed federal dollars for Boone, Dallas, Hamilton, Story and Webster counties.
The communities of Woodward and Stratford were badly hit by the tornadoes, with dozens of homes damaged or destroyed and one death. Grassley says on a small scale, the destruction in several Iowa communities was equal to the devastation in Mississippi during the recent hurricanes. Governor Vilsack sent the request for the federal declaration to the White House on Monday and Grassley decided to send a request to the president from his office too.
Grassley says you’re never sure what will happen in Washington D.C. so he didn’t want to leave any stone unturned or take a chance — that’s why Grassley backed up Vilsack’s request with a letter of his own. A presidential declaration would bring more aid for housing, counseling, unemployment compensation and help with medical bills.