© 2021 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
IPR News

State Denies Des Moines Public Schools' Request To Start Classes Remotely

Daily Digest

Friday, August 21

5:42 p.m. - Freshman at University of Iowa feels let down by treatment of COVID-19 positive students

A University of Iowa student living in a quarantine dorm feels he’s been let down by the school. Freshman Wyatt Hellman is quarantining after his roommate had a positive COVID-19 test before he moved into the dorms.

Some of the issues he had: He had to carry 2 weeks’ worth of belongings to the dorm in one trip. Meals haven’t always been delivered to people in quarantine. Items the university said it would supply in the dorms were missing. Hellman says he doesn’t have a problem quarantining for 14 days, but he does have a problem with the "apparent lack of preparation."

In a statement, the university said it’s disappointed to learn of these concerns and will work to resolve the situation.

3:33 p.m. - Iowa State University will enforce safety policy for student gatherings violating COVID-19 guidelines

Iowa State University is enacting a safety policy for student gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

President Wendy Wintersteen sent an email to the campus community today, saying students must comply with all health orders, including wearing face coverings and limiting the size of gatherings. This applies whether the students are on campus or off.

Wintersteen says last weekend, many ISU students took part in large parties or gatherings. She says it’s unacceptable, and threatens the health and safety of the campus and community.

Wintersteen says students who violate the health orders will be subject to university discipline and could be suspended.

Read ISU's COVID-19 policy for students.

1:05 p.m. - Iowa Department of Education denies Des Moines Public Schools' request to start classes remotely

A request from Des Moines Public Schools to begin the year virtually has been denied by the Iowa Department of Education. In a statement, the agency says families can still choose to attend remotely, but the district cannot choose that option for all students.

Des Moines Public Schools says it will ask a judge to reverse that decision. The district plans to file a lawsuit in Polk County next week.

In a statement, Superintendent Thomas Ahart says the state is not giving the district the flexibility it needs to educate students and protect their health.

Earlier this week, the Iowa City school district and the Iowa State Education Association also filed suit challenging the state’s authority to require at least 50 percent in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more from Grant Gerlock.

10:23 a.m. - Forms requesting social security numbers for derecho assistance may deter some Iowa immigrants from applying

The Iowa Department of Human Services is offering assistance to those affected by the derecho storm last week. In order to apply for assistance, people must fill out forms requesting basic information. Both of the forms ask the applicant for a social security number. This question concerns Iowa immigrants who may not have one at the moment. But according to DHS, if an applicant skips over the social security question, the application will still be processed.

As for whether or not a blank social security box will affect the likelihood of an accepted application, the forms do provide an appeals process. DHS has a policy to provide equal treatment to all employees and assistance applicants regardless of “race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability, political belief or veteran status.”

10:00 a.m. - 823 new COVID-19 cases, five new deaths reported Friday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period.

Thursday, August 20

7:45 p.m. - President Trump approves individual assistance for Linn County, disaster assessment for other 26 counties “ongoing”

Ten days after the derecho, President Trump has approved the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program for Linn County. According to a press release from Gov. Kim Reynold’s office, disaster assessments for other requested counties are ongoing.

Residents of Linn County can now apply for federal disaster assistance, which provides disaster-affected homeowners, renters, and businesses with programs and services to maximize recovery, including assistance with housing, personal property replacement, medical expenses, and legal services.

Residents who live in the other 26 counties where the governor has announced disaster declarations should apply for aid under state programs until federal individual assistance benefits are approved.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in Linn County can begin applying for assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 for TTY users. Users of 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST, seven days a week, until further notice. Another option is registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.

5:29 p.m. - State medical director has known about flawed data since July

Gov. Kim Reynolds says she found out about a major flaw in the state’s coronavirus data last week even though the state’s medical director claims to have known about it since late July.

The state told school districts to look at the percent positivity in their county to make decisions about returning to school, but the state didn’t admit the data was flawed until Wednesday.

Reynolds claims they’ve corrected it, and says the “antiquated” disease surveillance system is to blame.

In the Thursday press briefing, Reynolds was asked if Iowans can trust the state’s data after it became clear this week that thousands of new infections were wrongly backdated. Her administration hasn’t answered a lot of reporters’ questions about data discrepancies in the past.

In an interview with Pedati, IPR asked why she didn’t say the data was wrong at the time. IPR also asked Pedati when she informed the governor’s office about the problem, but Pedati said she’s not sure of the exact date.

5:19 p.m. - 18,000 Iowans still without power after derecho, according to Alliant Energy

Last week’s derecho storm is one of the worst natural disasters the electrical industry has even seen, according to a vice president at Alliant Energy.

Hundreds of crews have traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to help restore power in the wake of the storm that caused extensive damage to the electrical grid and left hundreds of thousands in the dark.

Joel Schmidt with Alliant told reporters in Cedar Rapids Thursday that utility crew members say they’ve never seen anything like this storm.

Schmidt says some homes are so damaged it’s still unsafe to restore their electricity. As of Thursday afternoon, some 18,000 customers across the state were still without power.

4:52 p.m. - 14 school districts get permission for online start due to derecho damage

Administrators from 14 Iowa school districts have notified the state that last week’s derecho did damage to school facilities. Gov. Kim Reynolds today said she will issue an updated public health emergency proclamation that gives those districts permission to start the school year with online instruction.

The following districts are on the Department of Education list as having reported significant damage to buildings/facilities:

· Cedar Rapids
· Linn-Mar
· Marion
· Grinnell
· Marshalltown
· Newton
· Benton Community
· Vinton and Shellsburg
· Belle Plaine (high school and middle school)
· Ballard
· Summit Schools
· South Tama
· Calmus-Wheatland

These Cedar Rapids-area non-public schools are also on the list:
· Xavier High School
· LaSalle Middle School
· St. Jude
· Regis
· Pius
· St. Matthew
· All Saints
· St. Joseph-Marion and all early childhood centers

Read more from Radio Iowa.

4:29 p.m. - School districts with hybrid learning plans vary in meeting the 50 percent in-person requirement

The Sioux City Community School District starts the school year next week with a mix of in-person and online learning. The hybrid plan will be in place for at least the first two weeks.

Half of the students will be learning in-person on Mondays and Thursdays. The other half will learn in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Superintendent Paul Gausman says the district meets the state’s requirement for 50 percent in-person learning by allowing students to meet with teachers in-person on Wednesdays, although he acknowledges that’s something not everyone can take advantage of.

Hybrid plans at other districts such as Southeast Polk and Ankeny include alternate Wednesdays that students are in the buildings. All three districts say their plans meet the 50 percent in-person requirement.

Read more from Katie Peikes.

1:56 p.m. - National Weather Service estimates derecho winds reached up to 140 miles per hour

The most extreme winds from the derecho that blew through Iowa on August 10 are estimated at 110-140 mph, destroyed or damaged numerous outbuildings, barns, grain bins, homes, mobile homes, apartment buildings, trees, and power poles in parts of Benton, Linn, Jones, Cedar, and Clinton Counties. That's equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.

The latest numbers from the National Weather Service (NWS) estimate that last week’s derecho reached wind speeds of up to 140 miles per hour in Cedar Rapids, comparable to a category 4 hurricane.

According to the NWS, the storm is historic not just for the force of the winds, but the duration, with top wind speeds lasting upwards of 40 minutes.

Many residents say they were caught off guard by the storm. Local meteorologists have been raising questions about the storm warning system, and have been in communication with the NWS on ways to alert the public in the future.

10:00 a.m. - 339 new COVID-19 cases, nine new deaths reported Thursday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period.

Wednesday, August 19

5:56 p.m. - Siouxland District Health Department has stopped sharing daily COVID-19 case data due to glitch

Woodbury County’s Siouxland District Health Department has stopped sharing new daily COVID-19 case data that it has shared since the beginning of the pandemic.

The county health department says the daily positive cases it has reported aren’t always consistent with the state’s numbers. A glitch in the state’s coronavirus reporting may have listed thousands of recent infections as happening as early as March.

Siouxland District Health Department’s Tyler Brock says the glitch has also created an issue for multiple negative tests that never get reported in the overall case count.

The governor’s office says the recording error is being fixed.

5:12 p.m. - Linn County closes overnight shelter in Palo

Linn County is closing its overnight shelter in Palo, set up in the wake of last week’s derecho. The Red Cross says residents preferred to be at the shelter in Cedar Rapids, and the Palo shelter will house the organization’s staff, opening up local hotel rooms.

The shelter at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids has capacity for about 150 people and has coronavirus protocols in place. Peter Teahen with the Red Cross says the organization is working to transition displaced residents into hotels, but finding available rooms is still an issue.

4:49 p.m. - Cedar Rapids storm refugee families transition to temporary housing

Some 200 refugee families have transitioned into temporary housing in Cedar Rapids, leaving behind the devastated apartments they had been living in and around, even after they were condemned by the city.

Residents of the Cedar Terrace Apartments had spent days sleeping on the ground, in tents, cars and even inside destroyed units.

Kobinali Lwishi said his family rode out the storm on the top floor as the roof was torn off around them. They survived, but he says they lost everything.

Refugee advocates, service providers and local officials helped transition the families into shelters and hotels. Others are living with friends, or have left the city entirely.

4:21 p.m. - Iowa City Community School District to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds' Return-to-Learn guidelines

The Iowa City Community School District is joining the state’s largest teachers union to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Return-to-Learn guidelines.

Reynolds’ order requires schools to hold classes in-person at least half of the time. She says that’s based on an education law passed in June (SF 2310) that says schools should reopen with primarily in-person learning.

Iowa State Education Association attorney Jay Hammond says the lawsuit filed Wednesday argues local officials should decide how to respond to the coronavirus.

Iowa City is also one of several districts that have said they will create local metrics on when to switch to virtual learning instead of following Iowa Department of Education guidelines.

3:59 p.m. - Federal government approves extra $300 a week in benefits for unemployed Iowans

Americans unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic were getting an extra $600 a week from the federal government until the end of July.

When Congress failed to extend that, President Trump established a stopgap program through FEMA to pay $300 a week. States may add another hundred dollars to that, but Iowa isn’t planning to.

Iowa is using its existing unemployment payouts as the state match. That means the extra federal payments will only go to Iowans who are eligible for at least a hundred dollars a week from the state.

The boost to unemployment benefits is retroactive to the week ending August 1. It’s not clear when Iowans will actually start receiving the payments, or how long they’ll last.

3:58 p.m. - U.S. Census Bureau is confident derecho will not affect census count

The derecho storm caused displacement for many Iowans. This concerns the Iowa Complete Count Census Committee because if people aren’t at their homes, they might not get counted.

Sam Fettig is the U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Coordinator for Iowa. He says the bureau has a plan to make sure those who lost their homes are still counted.

Fettig says even those who have lost their homes must still fill out the census with their original residence information.

Read more from Kassidy Arena.

3:34 p.m. - 30 percent of Sioux City Community School District's students will start classes online

The Sioux City Community School District will start the school year with fewer students in its buildings under a hybrid model and thousands learning virtually.

Superintendent Paul Gausman says just under 30 percent of the district’s 14,000 students will learn online.

He says the numbers are surprising because the students are from different grade levels and schools all over the district. He adds that some teachers will be dedicated to virtual instruction and have gone through extra training.

The district is using a hybrid model for at least the first two weeks. Students will learn in-person two days a week, and online for two. Teachers will be in their buildings for additional instructional support on Wednesday. The state has approved the district's plan.

10:00 a.m. - In the last 24 hours, Iowa has surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 deaths

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period.

Earlier this week, IPR reported about a problem with state data regarding COVID-19 cases. An Iowa public health official says the state is trying to fix the problem that results in some new coronavirus cases being recorded as occurring weeks or months earlier.

9:57 a.m. - Critics say DNC needs to work on amplifying Latino voices

The Democratic National Convention continues this week with speakers from all over the country, but some advocates and critics say the DNC needs to work on amplifying more Latino voices.

Not all Latino Iowans agree with critics, but Steve Villatorro does. He is the vice-chair of the Democratic Party Latino caucus. He says the DNC needs to work harder to represent one of its largest voter bases.

Villatorro says he wished Julián Castro, the only Latino democratic presidential candidate, had more speaking time.

Read more from Kassidy Arena.

9:51 a.m. - Cedar Rapids Community School District doesn't know when students will be able to return

The superintendent of Iowa’s second largest school district says she doesn’t know when students will be able to return to school.

At a media briefing Tuesday, Cedar Rapids Community School District Superintendent Noreen Bush said all of the district’s 34 buildings were damaged in the derecho last week.

She says the district is ready with computers and iPads for every student, and hot spots for those who need internet access.

Bush also says the district is awaiting guidance from Gov. Kim Reynolds about what flexibility will be granted to schools impacted by the storm.

Cedar Rapids students were scheduled to be back for in-person learning or online instruction August 24.

Tuesday, August 18

5:19 p.m. - 2.2 percent of students moving in at Iowa State University test positive for coronavirus

Iowa State University announced Tuesday that 2.2 percent of students moving into on campus housing have tested positive for COVID-19.

The university tested a little more than 8,094 students this month as a requirement for living on campus, and 175 tests came back positive.

Students who test positive are required to isolate for ten days. ISU is providing special isolation rooms in dorms for students who test positive throughout the semester.

The state’s other two Regents universities, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa, are not requiring students who live on campus to undergo testing before moving in.

5:07 p.m. - President Donald Trump says he will approve further federal aid for Iowans affected by derecho the day after he says he’s already approved aid for Iowans affected by the derecho

President Donald Trump committed to approving further federal aid for Iowans during a meeting with local officials in storm-ravaged Cedar Rapids Tuesday.

Monday Trump had wrongly asserted he had approved Iowa’s full request for nearly $4 billion in disaster aid. In fact, he had omitted individual assistance. Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart urged him to approve the aid, saying it could affect at least 55,000 people.

"Amazing. That's bleak, hmm? That's amazing. Ok! We'll take care of it, mayor.” Trump responded.

When Trump was on the ground in Cedar Rapids Tuesday, he did not tour any of the damage first hand but instead looked at photos at a meeting with local leaders, where there were pleas for individual assistance.

Kim Reem of local non-profit Mission of Hope told the president that Iowans are not just hungry for food, they’re hungry for compassion from their leaders. With some families living in tents or cars and struggling to get food and medical supplies, officials in the state have compared the devastation to Hurricane Katrina.

4:16 p.m. - The Meskwaki Nation in Tama County is asking FEMA to help cover derecho damage control

The Meskwaki Nation in Tama County has submitted its own request for a federal disaster declaration following last week’s derecho. The tribe is asking FEMA to help cover the cost of clearing debris and repairing homes.

Lawrence SpottedBird, executive director of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, says power was back on this morning Tuesday for nearly 75 percent of residents of the Meskwaki Settlement. But he says it will be much longer before the storm damage is cleared away.

SpottedBird estimates around three dozen homes in the settlement are not livable. Many of those families are staying in the Meskwaki Casino hotel until repairs are made.

3:54 p.m. - Facebook group partners with local non-profit to provide support to Cedar Rapids community
The Iowa Giving Crew, a 501c3 not-for-profit, has partnered with the organizers of the Iowa Derecho Storm Resource group on Facebook to raise money and solicit donations for storm relief in Cedar Rapids. The group was created in response to the derecho storm that devastated the state last week. As of Tuesday, the group has grown to more than 54,000 people and has raised more than $76,000. All last week, the group was soliciting financial donations via Venmo and Pay Pal accounts.

Click here for more ways to help.

11:11 a.m. - President Trump's campaign filed a lawsuit against a third Iowa county

President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are suing a third county election official in Iowa over his handling of absentee ballot requests.

Last week, Trump’s campaign and several Republican groups filed lawsuits against two Democratic-leaning counties—Linn and Johnson. The third lawsuit, filed a few days later, is against Woodbury County, which leans Republican.

The three counties sent pre-filled ballot request forms to voters.

The Republican groups claim those forms are invalid because they violate the secretary of state’s directive that only blank forms should be mailed. The county auditors have said they believe that’s an incorrect interpretation of the law.

10:00 a.m. - 301 new COVID-19 cases, nine new deaths reported Tuesday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period.

9:52 a.m. - DNC Chair says this year's presidential caucuses should be the last the party ever holds

DNC Chair Tom Perez did not specifically name Iowa when he told the Associated Press yesterday that Democrats ought to hold only primary elections in 2024. For decades, Iowa has led off the presidential nominating process with its caucuses. This year’s results were delayed for days because of a faulty smart phone app. Last month in an interview with IPR, Iowa Democratic Party chair and state Representative Mark Smith showed no sign of wanting to end Iowa’s caucus system or its place in line.

DNC Chairman Perez’s term ends after the November election and final decisions would have to be made by his successor, Joe Biden. Biden will accept the Democratic Party nomination for president on Thursday finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses.

9:47 a.m. - Des Moines Public Schools to request permission to start school year online

Des Moines Public Schools will request permission to start the school year with all-virtual learning, instead of spending half of class time in-person as called for by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

The Iowa Department of Education says schools that go virtual should suspend fall activities. Reynolds has also said they may be forced to make up virtual days that are not state approved.

School board member Rob Barron says local officials are being bullied by Reynolds' reopening guidelines.

DMPS is also working on its own set of COVID-19 metrics on when to reopen schools that it will use instead of state guidelines.

9:46 a.m - Nurse practitioner finds discrepancies in system reporting COVID-19 cases in Iowa

An Iowa public health official says the state is trying to fix a data problem that reports some new coronavirus cases as occurring weeks or months earlier. That can make the number of new infections look lower as school leaders use that information to make decisions about bringing students back to the classroom.

Nurse practitioner Dana Jones was tracking the state’s data and noticed the discrepancies. She reached out to the Iowa Department of Public Health, and an official confirmed the problem to her in an email. Jones says it’s concerning because decisions are being based on data that’s wrong.

A public health spokesperson hasn’t commented. The state is telling school districts to return to mostly in-person learning unless the county reaches 15 percent test positivity, a metric that’s also skewed by backdating infections.

Read more from Katarina Sostaric.

9:37 a.m. - President Trump partially approved disaster assistance, will visit Cedar Rapids Tuesday

President Trump has partly approved Iowa’s request for federal disaster assistance, a week after a derecho devastated communities across the state.

Gov. Kim Reynolds formally requested the major disaster declaration over the weekend.

She asked for nearly $4 billion, including almost $3.8 billion to cover the loss of corn and soybean crops. The rest is for utilities, homes with major damage, and public assistance.

FEMA approved public assistance for 16 counties, but indicated the individual assistance requested for 27 counties was still under review.

Trump plans to visit Cedar Rapids Tuesday.

Read more from Katarina Sostaric.

Monday, August 17

6:23 p.m. - Gov. Kim Reynolds defends her process, acquiring a disaster declaration a week after the derecho

Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending her process for requesting a presidential disaster declaration. It was partially approved Monday, a week after the ferocious derecho hit the state. Eastern Iowa residents and local officials have been pleading for more help for days.

A common refrain in Cedar Rapids neighborhoods hardest hit by the storm is ‘what took so long for the official response’? When the city was struck by a historic flood in 2008, a request to be added to a presidential disaster declaration was submitted the same day the river crested, and approved the day after.

Reynolds defended her request Monday, saying it’s a more thorough assessment than what was done in 2008.

In the days since the storm hit, many Iowans have faced deprivation, struggling to get food and medical supplies, some families even living in homes deemed unlivable by local officials.

5:27 p.m. - Iowa's three public universities reserve dorm rooms for students who must quarantine

Hundreds of dorm rooms at Iowa’s three public universities have been reserved for students who need to quarantine or isolate because of the coronavirus.

Nearly 150 Iowa State University students tested positive before moving into on-campus housing. About half went home to isolate; the others have moved into Linden Hall. ISU’s director of residence Pete Englin says students are so far abiding by the expectations that they stay in their rooms, and there are consequences for those who don’t.

Dining staff are delivering meals to students isolating and quarantining on campus. Housing leaders from the three universities say keeping rooms empty did not shut out any students who wanted to live on campus.

4:00 p.m. - Gov. Reynolds hosts press conference from Cedar Rapids updating Iowans on state's derecho response

3:29 p.m. - Over 6,000 still without power in Marshalltown

On Monday morning, more than 6,200 Alliant Energy customers were still without electricity in Marshalltown as residents there continued to clean up fallen trees and limbs from last week’s derecho.

Brigitte Narreau is running a generator outside her home to power her husband’s oxygen machine and to keep the house cool.

The City of Marshalltown says more homes and businesses were damaged by the derecho than the tornado that struck two years ago.

Alliant Energy predicts power will be restored to nearly all its customers by Tuesday night.

3:21 p.m. - Cedar Rapids stabilizes hundreds of homes in wake of derecho

Cedar Rapids officials say staff, residents and contractors have been able to stabilize hundreds of housing units that were initially deemed unsafe to occupy, in the wake of the derecho.

In the immediate aftermath, 1,100 homes were deemed unlivable by the city, due to structural damage or fallen trees. As of Monday morning, that number was down to roughly 200, because of extensive tree removal and building stabilization work, says City Fire Chief Greg Smith.

As of Sunday night, some families were still living in units deemed unlivable. The City is working with service providers to transition them to shelters and hotels.

2:14 p.m. - A week after derecho devastates Iowa, national help is arriving

Leaders in Cedar Rapids say national disaster response groups are pouring resources into the city, as the full scope of the derecho devastation becomes even clearer.

Some families have continued living in homes deemed unlivable by officials while others have struggled to access food and critical medical supplies.

Residents have said that even the around the clock efforts by city staff, local nonprofits, and individual volunteers are not enough to handle the sheer scope of the community’s needs.

Now Kristin Roberts with the United Way of East Central Iowa says more national help is arriving.

Residents can get more information about the resources available by dialing 211 or going to 211.org, if they’re able.

11:48 a.m. – New estimates reflect 14 million acres in crop damage

New estimates released last week indicate more agricultural land was damaged by last week’s powerful derecho than Iowa’s agriculture secretary initially thought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency reports 14 million acres of insured crops in 57 counties were in the path of the storm that tore through Iowa. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig previously estimated 10 million acres were potentially affected.

Thirty-six counties were hardest hit, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Naig estimates the storm likely had the biggest impact on roughly 3.6 million acres of corn and 2.5 million acres of soybeans.

10:56 a.m. – Federal disaster aid partly approved

President Trump says he’s approved part of Iowa’s request for federal disaster assistance, a week after a derecho devastated communities across the state. Gov. Kim Reynolds formally requested the major disaster declaration over the weekend.

Reynolds asked for nearly $4 billion, including almost $3.8 billion to cover the loss of corn and soybean crops. The rest is for utilities, homes with major damage, and public assistance.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency tweeted he’ll meet with Reynolds in Iowa Monday. Trump confirmed that he will visit Cedar Rapids on Tuesday.

10:00 a.m. - 395 new COVID-19 cases, three new deaths reported Monday

These numbers reflect a 24-hour reporting period. Iowa's Department of Public Health considers a person recovered from COVID-19 28 days after a positive test, unless the state is informed the person is still in the hospital or has not recovered.

Sunday, August 16

5:29 p.m. - Gov. Reynolds submits formal request for Presidential Major Disaster Declaration

Gov. Kim Reynolds has formally asked President Trump to issue a major disaster declaration for communities and counties hit by last Monday’s “devastating” derecho.

In a news release, Reynolds said the State of Iowa will need nearly $4 billion from its “federal partners to fully recover” from the derecho. Reynolds said Iowans — “from cities to farms” — are hurting and “many still have challenges with shelter, food and power.”

The paperwork submitted asks for federal assistance to individuals and business owners in the following 27 counties: Audubon, Benton, Boone, Cass, Cedar, Clarke, Clinton, Dallas, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Madison, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, Tama, and Washington.

The governor also asked for federal aid to help pay for debris removal and to repair or replace government-owned infrastructure that was damaged in the following 16 counties. Benton, Boone, Cedar, Clinton, Dallas, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Muscatine, Polk, Poweshiek, Scott, Story, and Tama.

According to the governor’s office, aerial photos indicate nearly 8300 Iowa homes were damaged or destroyed. Just the cost of getting rid of debris from the derecho was estimated to be $21.6 million. Gov. Kim Reynolds will host a press conference Monday with more updates.

Read more from Radio Iowa and O. Kay Henderson.

As IPR's Kate Payne has reported, without a coordinated disaster response, some refugees in Cedar Rapids are living in apartments the city has condemned, or in tents amid the debris of their homes following the storm. Conditions have been dire.

10:00 a.m. - 1,408 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths reported this weekend in Iowa