Omaha, NE: (Dec. 26, 2013) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is asking the federal government to reconsider a previous denial of a request for federal disaster aid in reponse to an April ice storm in Northwest Iowa.
The April 2013 storm caused an estimated $19 million in damage to power lines in five Iowa counties including Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux. The Obama administration made a disaster declaration in May. In August, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied funding to restore downed lines, saying the utilities did not conduct “comprehensive laboratory testing.” The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives says the comprehensive testing referred to by FEMA is not an industry practice, nor is it required by the Iowa Utilities Board.
The state filed the appeal in conjunction with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Osceola Electric Cooperative and Sanborn Electric and Telecommunications Utility. FEMA has 90 days to make an evaluation and issue a determination on the appeal.