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Iowa Disaster History

 

Iowa has experienced 41 presidentially-declared disasters from 1990 to 2017, and 59 declarations total. The most recent Presidential Disaster Declaration (DR-4334) was received on Aug. 27, 2017, for damage incurred in seven counties from severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding July 19-23, 2017.

 

Iowa's lead hazards are those associated with severe weather, including heavy rains and flooding, tornadoes and high winds, ice storms, and blizzards and heavy snow. Iowa has also been affected by hazardous materials spills both at fixed facilities and those associated with transportation accidents.

 

FEMA assigns a number to every presidentially-declared disaster.

 

Map of DR-4334

Click here for a PDF version of the map above.

 

Iowa's Major Presidential Disaster Declarations

 

Click on each tab for additional information and a list of all declarations.

2011-2017

 

Summer 2017

Iowa received a disaster declarations most recently on Aug. 27, 2017, for severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in seven counties (Allamakee, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, and Mitchell) from July 19-23. At the time of the declaration, these counties were still recovering from their last declared disasters from 2016.

 

Summer/Fall 2016

Iowa received two disaster declarations in 2016, for severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding in eight counties (Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell and Winneshiek) from Aug. 23-27, 2016, and severe storms and flooding in 19 counties from Sept. 21-Oct. 3, 2016: Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Howard, Linn, Mitchell, Winneshiek, and Wright. Many of these counties were also hit hard by flooding in 2008.

 

Spring/Summer 2015

Iowa received one Presidential Disaster Declaration in 2015, on July 31, for damage incurred in 19 counties from June 20-25, 2015.

 

Spring/Summer 2014

Severe weather hammered the state hard during the month of June. Iowa received its first Presidential Disaster Declaration for 2014 on July 14 for nine counties due to severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding which occurred June 3-4 (DR-4181). Governor Branstad received word that his second request for a Presidential declaration was approved by President Obama on July 24 for 26 counties as a result of storms that occurred June 14-23.

 

On Aug. 5, President Obama approved Iowa's third Presidential Disaster Declaration for 22 counties as a result of severe weather that occurred June 26-July 7. On Aug. 19, Crawford and Shelby counties were added to the declaration, bringing the number of counties covered by the declaration to 24.

 

Spring/Summer 2013

Iowa had four Presidential Disaster Declarations in 2013. On May 6, 2013, the state received its first declaration of the year for five counties as a result of a severe winter storm that hit northwest Iowa April 9-11, 2013. The second disaster declaration came on May 31, 2013, for 20 counties as a result of severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding which occurred April 17-30.

 

On July 2, 2013, the state received a third declaration for severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding which occurred May 19-June 14. A total of 47 counties were included in this declaration. Two counties, Howard and Worth, were added to the declaration on Aug. 8, making the total covered in the declaration 49 counties.

 

The fourth and final Presidential Disaster Declaration came on July 31, 2013, for severe storms, tornadoes and flooding which occurred June 21-28 in 10 counties. On Aug. 20, 2013, Audubon and Grundy counties were added to the declaration, bringing the total covered by the declaration to 12 counties.

 

Spring/Summer 2011

On April 9-10, 2011, severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds made their way across the state. Six counties received a Presidential Disaster Declaration as a result of these storms.

 

Beginning on May 25, 2011, sustained flooding in the Missouri River and its tributaries resulted in a Presidential Disaster Declaration affecting six counties. By the end of August, two more Presidential Disaster Declarations were made due to weather events in June and July, affecting eight additional counties.

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

2017

8/27

DR-4334, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2016

10/31

DR-4289, Severe Storms and Flooding

2016

9/29

DR-4281, Severe Storms, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2015

7/31

DR-4234, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2014

8/5

DR-4187, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2014

7/24

DR-4184, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2014

7/14

DR-4181, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line winds, and Flooding

2013

7/31

DR-4135, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding

2013

7/2

DR-4126, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding

2013

5/31

DR-4119, Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding

2013

5/6

DR-4114, Severe Winter Storm

2011

8/30

DR-4018, Severe Storms and Flooding

2011

8/24

DR-4016, Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds and Flooding

2011

6/27

DR-1998, Flooding

2011

5/5

DR-1977, Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Straight-Line Winds

 

 

 

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

2001-2010

 

Summer 2010

Lake Delhi Dam breach, July 24, 2010.From June through August of 2010, severe storms, wind and flooding resulted in 63 counties receiving a Presidential Disaster Declaration. One of the most consequential events of the summer occurred on July 24, when the Lake Delhi (pronounced DEL-high) Dam in Delaware County was overtopped by the swollen Maquoketa River, causing the the earthen portion of the dam to erode and ultimately, the dam to fail.

 

Winter 2009-2010

The state experienced one of the snowiest winters on record beginning December 2009. By mid-February in Des Moines alone, a whopping 58 inches had already fallen for the season, according to the National Weather Service. Two disaster declarations were made during the winter season, one for severe winter storms and snow at the end of December 2009, and one for severe winter storms in late January 2010.

 

Spring/Summer 2008

Damage in Parkersburg after the EF5 tornado on May 25, 2008. Photo courtesy Denny Mills.On May 25, 2008, the town of Parkersburg and nearby communities were struck by tornadoes. A few days later, devastating floods began affecting much of the state. Eighty-five counties were included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration as a result of the tornadoes and flooding. Losses from these disasters are estimated to total between $8 - 10 billion, and more than 40,000 were affected.

 

The Year 2007

In 2007, Iowa had a record five disasters that received Presidential Emergency Declarations totaling more than $126 million in federal aid. It began with an ice storm in late February, followed by heavy snow a few days later in March, major spring flooding occurred in southwest Iowa in May, more flooding across the state occurred in August, and another ice storm in December finished off the year.

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

2010

7/29

DR-1930, Severe Storms, Flooding and Tornadoes

2010

7/27

DR-1928, Severe Storms and Flooding

2010

3/2

DR-1880, Severe Winter Storms

2010

2/25

DR-1877, Severe Winter Storms and Snowstorm

2009

8/13

DR-1854, Severe Storm

2008

5/27

DR-1763, Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding

2008

1/4

DR-1737, Severe Winter Storm

2007

9/14

DR-1727, Severe Storms and Flooding

2007

5/25

DR-1705, Severe Storms, Flooding and Tornadoes

2007

3/14

DR-1688, Severe Winter Storms

2004

5/25

DR-1518, Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding

2002

6/19

DR-1420, Severe Storms and Flooding

2001

5/2

DR-1367, Severe Storms and Flooding

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

1991-2000

 

Summer 1993

Perhaps one of the most defining natural disaster incidents in Iowa history was flooding in 1993. Flooding resulted in 17 fatalities and more than $2 billion in damage. Over 10,000 people were evacuated from their homes and 21,000 homes were damaged, many destroyed. During the summer of 1993, it rained at some locations within the state each day for 130 consecutive days. Some areas of the state flooded more than five times. Agricultural yields dropped by 62 percent.

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

1999

7/22

DR-1282, Severe Storms and Flooding

1999

5/21

DR-1277, Severe Storms, Flooding and Tornadoes

1998

7/2

DR-1230, Severe Weather, Tornadoes and Flooding

1997

11/20

DR-1191, Severe Snow Storms

1996

8/21

DR-1133, Flooding

1996

6/24

DR-1121, Flooding

1993

7/9

DR-996, Flooding, Severe Storm

1993

4/26

DR-986, Flooding, Severe Storm

1992

10/2

DR-965, Flooding, Severe Storm

1991

12/26

DR-928, Ice Storm

1991

7/12

DR-911, Flooding, Severe Storm

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

1981-1990

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

1990

9/6

DR-879, Flooding, Severe Storm

1990

5/26

DR-868, Flooding, Severe Storm

1988

7/28

DR-814, Heavy Rain, High Winds, Tornadoes

1987

7/17

DR-795, Storms, Flash Flooding

1984

6/27

DR-715, Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Hail, Floods

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

1971-1980

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

1979

7/1

DR-590, High Winds, Tornadoes

1974

6/24

DR-443, Severe Storms, Flooding

1973

5/23

DR-386, Severe Storms, Flooding

1972

9/26

DR-354, Severe Storms, Flooding

1972

8/18

DR-348, Severe Storms, Flooding

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

1961-1970

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

1969

8/14

DR-269, Heavy Rains, Flooding

1969

4/25

DR-259, Flooding

1968

8/4

DR-248, Heavy Rains, Flooding

1968

5/29

DR-240, Tornadoes, Severe Storms

1965

4/22

DR-193, Flooding

1962

9/5

DR-133, Flooding

1961

3/31

DR-111, Flooding

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

1951-1960

 

Year

Date*

Disaster Number/Incident Description

1958

7/5

DR-86, Flooding

1954

6/23

DR-17, Flooding

1953

6/11

DR-8, Flooding

     

*Date the disaster was declared, not necessarily the date it occurred. Click on the link for each disaster for additional information, including the date(s) of occurrence ("incident period").

 

 

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