Iowa Seeks About $4B in Disaster Aid After Derecho Leaves Path of Devastation

August 17, 2020 Updated: August 17, 2020

The U.S. state of Iowa is seeking about $4 billion in disaster relief after a storm packing hurricane-force winds tore across the Midwest last Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said.

The storm caused widespread property damage in cities and rural towns and left more than half a million homes and businesses without power.

Media reports said there were at least three deaths caused by the storm in Iowa.

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A tree fell across vehicles at a home in West Des Moines, Iowa, after a severe thunderstorm moved across Iowa on Aug. 10, 2020, downing trees, power lines and damaging buildings. (AP Photo/David Pitt)

The storm compounded troubles for the U.S. farm economy already battered by extreme weather, the U.S.-China trade war and most recently, the disruption caused to labor and consumption by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winds as high as 100 miles per hour (160 kph) hit eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois in the widespread storm classified as a “derecho” by the National Weather Service.

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Two men survey the damage to their cars after a severe thunderstorm battered Chicago neighborhoods on Aug. 10, 2020. (Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The storm impacted 37.7 million acres of farmland across the Midwest, including 14 million in Iowa, the Iowa Soybean Association said on Friday, citing estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The storm affected 58,000 holders of crop-insurance policies with a liability of around $6 billion in Iowa, including $1.86 billion for soybeans, the Iowa Soybean Association said, citing data from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.