Gov. Branstad Tours Storm Damaged Areas - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Gov. Branstad Tours Storm Damaged Areas

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As cleanup from the latest storms continues, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was touring some of the hard hit areas in the state on Tuesday, including a few stops in Jackson County.

It is clear the storms packed quite a punch there.

"We had a lot of straight line winds, a lot of buildings damaged and some homes damaged, and a lot of flooding, we had a lot of rain," said Jackson County Supervisor Larry "Buck" Koos. "We have roads that are out. We have culverts that are washed out."

That was the kind of destruction Governor Branstad got to see first hand as he toured damaged properties in this part of the state. He says it is important to actually go out and look at the damage, rather than just relying on damage reports:

"So we are able to know precisely the situation and also to reassure people that we are going to provide help and we are going to try to do it as quickly as possible," Branstad said.

Just one day after the devastating storms, Governor Branstad has issued disaster declarations for nine Eastern Iowa counties, making state resources available to crews in Black Hawk, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Louisa and Muscatine counties, and opening up individual aid to residents in Black Hawk, Cedar, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn and Muscatine counties.

The Jackson County Supervisor says the disaster declaration will be critical in what will no-doubt be a very expensive recovery process:

"We need to tap into whatever aid is available to help us out," Koos said.

On one of the farms toured by the governor on Tuesday, federal crop insurance should cover a lot of the losses.

But, the farmers say the damage is hard to believe:

"We headed to the basement when we came out we could not figure out what some of the stuff was laying out here," said David Phillips.

"It was like, 'oh, it's the machine shed door," his wife, Karen, added.

Large areas of the Phillips' sweet corn fields were flattened by the high winds. Some of the corn snapped, but most of it was blown over from the ground at its roots.

David Phillips says he is hopeful at least some of the crop will bounce back, but he expects to lose about 50% of the corn in the hardest-hit fields.

Even so, the Phillips say things could have been far, far worse.

"It is just stuff," Karen said.

"It is just stuff," David agreed. "Everybody's alive. That is the main thing."


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