Financial Assistance Still Needed Following EF4 Tornado in Madison County
On March 5, 2022, an EF4 tornado touched down in Madison County and continued for 70 miles across multiple Iowa counties, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The tornado, the first EF4 in the state since 2013, remained on the ground for more than 90 minutes and was the second-longest in Iowa since 1980. Winds reached 170 mph, resulting in six deaths and damaged homes across the county.
However, in the wake of the tragedy, the community has pulled together to support friends and neighbors. Volunteers have spent countless days and hours with cleanup, and others have donated food and supplies.
The affected area has been declared a State Disaster Area. This opens the door for state assistance to households in need through the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program. The USDA is offering disaster assistance for farmers and livestock producers. FEMA assistance is unknown at this time as the area has not been declared a Federal Disaster Area.
Government assistance is limited and will not meet all the needs of those impacted. There are remaining financial needs for those who don’t meet the required income qualifications or for damage not covered by insurance or government disaster relief.
In response, the Greater Madison County Community Foundation (GMCCF) has established the Disaster Recovery Fund to support those negatively affected by the March 5th tornado. The GMCCF will first focus on meeting the immediate economic and health needs of those impacted. As money is available, the fund will continue to support needs that arise and are not met by existing non-profit, local, state or federal programs.
You can follow the Madison County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and Madison County Emergency Management Facebook page for more updates.
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Tom Leners is the executive director of the Madison County Development Group, a nonprofit working to increase economic activity in Madison County, Iowa. He has assisted small businesses relocate to Winterset, helped fill 345,000 square feet of building space and distributed $1 million-plus through the Greater Madison County Community Foundation.