Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

May 2, 2013

Marion County seeks damage reports


Knoxville — Marion County Emergency Management sent a call out to several contacts with public and private nonprofit organizations in the county, seeking input from them regarding damage done during the recent heavy rainfall. If enough damage has been done, the county could be eligible for a federal disaster declaration. 

"Any governmental entity or nonprofit who sustained damages could be eligible to receive FEMA/State disaster assistance if Marion County were declared a Presidential Disaster Declaration," Anderson wrote in his email. 

Anderson added, "During a conference call this morning, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (IHSEMD) authorities informed us that they will be formally requesting a joint preliminary damage assessment from FEMA.  Those assessments will evaluate the damages and impacts in our communities, and cumulatively will be used to determine if a declaration is awarded in Marion County."

Local organizations have until the close of business on Friday, May 3, to respond. Anderson has already received reports from the Marion County Engineer and from Marion County Rural Water. The Engineer's Office reported $100,000 in damages and Rural Water reported $25,000. 

The threshold for a disaster declaration, statewide, is $4.1 million, Marion County per capita is $3.45. 

According to State Climatologist Harry Hillaker, between April 16-18, the rainfall total for Knoxville was 5.72 inches. Pella received 6.36 inches of rain and Columbia received 4.7. 

Hillaker went on to say that there is a new monthly average for rainfall, statewide, which stands at 6.52 inches. He added that this is a new record high for April, among 141 years of data. The old record was 6.25 inches in 1999. The greatest rainfall has been in southeast Iowa, with the worst being in the southwest and northwest corners of the state. 


Some examples of damage that should be reported to Anderson include: 

• flooding damage to roads, properties, or buildings

• lighting damage to buildings or equipment

• water damage to buildings or facilities

Officials who received the email were encouraged to call Anderson with questions. We'll check back with Anderson after Friday to see if more damage was reported.