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News 12.16.21: Governor Reynolds Issues Disaster Declaration After Storm Damage

After yesterday’s storms and high winds across the state, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds today issued a disaster proclamation covering 43 counties, including Buena Vista, Kossuth and Ida Counties.

The proclamation allows residents of the affected counties making up to 200% of the federal poverty level to access the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program, where they can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses like car repairs, replacing food or clothing and temporary housing. The proclamation also opens up the Disaster Case Management Program where a case manager can work with affected Iowans to create a disaster recovery plan and help them access resources.

The mayor of Kingsley, Iowa says the town has reopened after being closed off to everybody but residents Wednesday night after the storms.

The mayor has also confirmed to KTIV that a majority of residents have had their power restored. Crews are still working to restore power to a few residents who live in the more rural parts of town.

The current surge in coronavirus cases in Nebraska continues to send more people to the hospital and put stress on the state’s health care system.

The World Herald reports that Health officials said today they are already concerned about hospital capacity and the spread of the new omicron variant of the virus. It could make the situation worse if it proves to be more contagious.
Nebraska confirmed six cases of the omicron variant earlier this month, and state epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue said one new possible case was being investigated Thursday.

An infectious disease expert said hospitals may soon have to ration care to patients by imposing what doctors call crisis standards of care because doctors and nurses are spread so thin.

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