Memorial Day is always a bittersweet day, but with the tragedy still unfolding in New Hartford, Dunkerton, and Parkersburg because of the massive tornado that killed at least 6 and injured at least 50 people. My condolences to those families that were affected by this natural disaster.
Governor Chet Culver declared these disaster areas, as of last night. The Governor's disaster declaration allows local officials to better utilize state resources in response to any severe weather.
In addition, the Governor's proclamation activates Iowa's individual disaster assistance program. Iowa 's individual disaster assistance program helps people with low incomes. Iowans with household incomes of up to 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines may apply for a grant of up to $3,300 to help recover from flood damage. The governor emphasized that this is a reimbursement program, meaning that applicants must include receipts when applying for help.
The grant application and step-by-step instructions on how to fill it out are found on the front page of the Department of Human Services website: http://dhs.iowa.gov/ . Look for the words "Storm Help”, or call toll-free (877) 937-3663 to find out more.
If you want to help, the Red Cross is taking donations for disaster relief. Unless you have family that you are helping in the area, please do not go to these affected areas.