Federal disaster declaration approved for 25 Iowa counties, including six local counties, after mid-December tornaadoes

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has approved requests for a federal disaster declaration for 25 counties in Iowa, including six counties in our immediate listening area, after a line of destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the state in mid-December. 


The designation allows segments of the state to access federal funding for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. 


At least 45 tornadoes were confirmed in the Dec. 15 storms that crossed the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm temperatures, with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota taking the brunt of the damage.


Included in the declaration are Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Mitchell, Worth and Wright counties. Damages in the 25 counties is estimated at $5.2 million. 


Governor Kim Reynolds’ office says the state also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards.


(The Associated Press contributed to this report)