The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that residents of Linn County can now apply for federal disaster aid to help them in their recovery from the August 10th derecho. Homeowners, renters, and merchants can apply for the funds. Thursday evening, President Trump partially approved Iowa's request for individual assistance under the Federal Emergency Management Program.

While this does open up Linn county residents ability to apply, the Gazette reports that damage assessments continue in 26 other Iowa counties. Residents in those counties must continue to wait to apply for federal funding. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement "I am grateful for this President's unwavering commitment to Iowa as we continue to secure federal assistance for all affected counties."

The Gazette reports that the FEMA program provides both homeowners and renters impacted by the derecho assistance with housing, property replacement, medical expenses and legal services. It does not duplicate what insurance covers. FEMA also states on it's website that it does not offer assistance for small businesses in presidential declared disaster areas.

If you live in Linn County and suffered losses, there are several ways you can begin to apply for help. You can call 1-800-621-3362. That number will be open and available from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. You can also apply online at DisasterAssistance.Gov. As of early this morning, that site had not been updated to reflect that Linn County is now a federal disaster area.

While the news is welcome for many people suffering from storm damage, the Gazette reports that Cedar Rapids mayor Brad Hart says more help is needed. Hart pointed out that at least for now, the individual assistance can't be used for tree removal, something that many Eastern Iowans are in desperate need of assistance with.


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