While many residents of central Iowa are still cleaning up from a weekend round of tornadoes, Brett Voorhees from the Iowa Emergency Management Division says the damage won’t trigger a disaster declaration. Voorhees says when the local help is overwhelmed, they call for state help, and when the state is overwhelmed, the state calls for federal help. Voorhees says in this case the damage was not enough to send out state damage assessment teams.
Tornadoes struck Cumming and Norwalk in Warren County, knocking down trees and damaging some buildings. There was also tree damage up into the suburbs of Des Moines. Voorhees says this is one of the few times this year that the storms didn’t do enough damage to spur a state or federal disaster declaration.
Voorhees says the record three presidential disaster declarations already this year have made it busy. Voorhees says the amount of damage determines whether there’s a state or federal disaster declaration, but he says one does not always lead to the other. An example is the state declaration for tornadoes earlier this month, that federal officials didn’t think met their guidelines.
The governor was notified Friday that the federal request for Muscatine and Louisa County for the June 1st tornadoes was denied because of a lack of damages. Getting a federal disaster declaration makes funds available to help county and local government with cleanup, and can also include individual assistance.