President Obama has approved a federal disaster declaration for six Iowa counties. Governor Terry Branstad requested the declaration for the damage from severe storms and tornadoes on April 9th and 10th.
The declaration allows federal funding to be used in Buena Vista, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas, and Sac counties. The federal Public Assistance program funds are available to nonprofit agencies to rebuild damaged infrastructure such as roads, bridges, culverts, and other public facilities.
It can also cover the costs of emergency work and debris removal during the storms. Up to 18 tornadoes touched down in western Iowa on April 9th. The worst damage occurred in Mapleton where 140 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.
One of the tornadoes, which blew through a rural area west of Pocahontas, was rated an EF4, second strongest on the scale used by the National Weather Service.