Iowa governor’s request for federal aid in partial building collapse denied

Jun 30, 2023, 8:42 AM

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The federal government denied Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ three dead, many injured and dozens displaced.

A federal agency “determined that the severity of the situation does not warrant an emergency declaration that provides supplemental federal emergency assistance,” according to a June 28 letter that Reynolds posted on social media.

Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation the day after the Davenport, Iowa, building’s partial collapse to deploy state resources to the response. She sent a formal request for a federal emergency declaration the following week, estimating the response to be at least $5 million and asserting it was “beyond the capability of the State and the affected local governments.”

Reynolds said a second request is still pending.

More than three weeks after the west wall of the building crumbled, most of the remaining structure had been dismantled and the focus shifted to clearing the site, which the city said could take several weeks. Hazardous materials like asbestos are likely in the debris and pose a risk to nearby buildings.

The city council unanimously voted this week on $3 million in emergency expenses, including the cost of demolition and an investigation, the Quad City Times reported. City officials have said they will seek reimbursement from building owner Andrew Wold.

The city hired two companies to complete a cause and origin report that will be shared with the public “when deemed appropriate,” city officials said in a June 14 statement.

Questions persist as to why residents remained in the 116-year-old brick, steel and concrete building despite months of warnings about its integrity. Former residents have begun filing lawsuits accusing Wold and the city of negligence.

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Iowa governor’s request for federal aid in partial building collapse denied