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Branstad Issues Disaster Proclamation
DES MOINES, IA (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency and activated an assistance program for four Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather.
Branstad said in a news release Friday that the Iowa Individual Assistance Program has been activated for Cass, Harrison, Montgomery, and Ringgold counties. Pottawattamie County was declared under a disaster emergency on Tuesday and is open to the assistance program.
The program provides grants of up to $5,000 to households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of less than $40,000 for a family of three. The money is available for home or car repairs, clothing, food and temporary housing.
Severe thunderstorms hit portions of Nebraska and Iowa on Tuesday. Baseball-size hail and heavy rain was reported.
Weather officials say a strong tornado touched down earlier this week in western Iowa's Pottawattamie County.
The National Weather Service says investigators surveying debris concluded an EF-2 tornado landed Tuesday about nine miles west of Oakland. Such a classification means the tornado could have packed wind speeds ranging from 111 to 135 miles per hour.
The Council Bluffs Nonpareil reports the tornado carved out a three-mile path before it merged with another storm. That created straight-line winds that exceeded 90 mph and severely damaged properties in Oakland.
Brian Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist, says there were reports of severe wind and hail damage in the area.
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