Disaster relief efforts underway after Iowa derecho

Federal aid has been authorized for farmers and individuals in select Iowa counties.

On August 10, a derecho wind event wrought destruction on much of Iowa’s farmland: over 14 million acres of corn and soybeans were affected and nearly a half million Iowans were left without power.

In total, 37.7 million acres of farmland were estimated to be damaged. Many farms are expected to close entirely.

Thankfully for those injured in the storm- and those that may be injured in future storms- increased relief is on the way. According to AgWeb.com:

To assist in the recovery after the August 10, 2020 derecho event, CHS, CoBank, Farm Credit Services of America, and Land O’Lakes, Inc. will donate a total of $200,000 to the American Red Cross.

Four people were killed and hundreds were injured in the storm.

The derecho, a rare and severe inland storm, hit the Midwest August 10 with winds equivalent to a category 4 hurricane. The 14-hour storm damaged property and crops across 800 miles: from North and South Dakota to Ohio. Though the damage was widespread, Iowa saw the most significant effects, including wide-scale utility disruptions, destruction of residential and commercial property, and severe damage to more than 10 million acres of crops. Damage to trailers, silos and other equipment used for grain transportation and storage has added concerns about handling the 2020 harvest from remaining crops.

The American Red Cross has been providing food, water, shelter and other relief services since the storm hit. In Iowa and Illinois, the organization has provided more than 50,000 meals, distributed nearly 20,000 relief items and provided more than 1,900 overnight stays in hotels or congregate shelters. Red Cross volunteers and disaster workers continue to provide aid and comfort to those unable to return to their homes due to damage and ongoing power outages.

“The derecho has been devastating not only for ag producers, but also for the families, friends and neighbors in their communities. We continue to work with producers to address the financial needs of their agricultural operations, said Mark Jensen, president and CEO, Farm Credit Services of America. “By joining with other cooperatives to support the important work of the American Red Cross, Farm Credit Services of America hopes to broaden our reach to address the needs of entire communities in these challenging times.”

“As a nearly 100-year-old, farmer-owned cooperative, we know that we do better when we look after our neighbors and work together to help when things like the Midwest derecho storm hit. We’re proud to join other national cooperatives to do our part in supporting the vibrant, rural communities that continue to feed our country,” says Beth Ford, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Businesses and individuals impacted by the derecho may qualify for disaster loans administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which recently announced derecho-related aid would be available in select Iowa counties.

James A

James is EIC's Project Development manager and company webmaster. He has a BA from Washington State University and is pursuing an MBA from Eastern Washington University. In 2020 he launched a Bitcoin-based merchandising company for small business and content creators.

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