In 2008, residents of Iowa waited a day for a major disaster declaration when an EF-5 tornado struck Parkersburg. That twister cut through Black Hawk and Butler counties, killed nine people and injured dozens. It destroyed nearly 200 homes, totaling several millions of dollars in damages.
President George W. Bush granted then-Gov. Chet Culver’s disaster declaration request within 24 hours. Culver used a provision in the federal code available to all governors: if a catastrophic event is so severe the state can ask for a waiver to begin the flow of federal help immediately. It’s been a week since the massive derecho storm hit.