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Gov. Kim Reynolds requests state emergency declaration from Biden administration following collapse

In a letter to President Biden, Gov. Reynolds filed a request for an emergency declaration for Scott County.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds filed a request to President Biden to issue an emergency declaration for Scott County, following the Davenport Apartment collapse on May 28. The request includes assistance for demolition, removing debris, reimbursement for response activities and technical assistance.

Reynolds wrote on June 6 that the collapse "is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capability of the State and the affected local governments." The governor's full letter to President Biden can be found here.

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) has informed numerous federal organizations of the need for assistance - including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

However, a Presidential Emergency Declaration is needed for FEMA and USACE to provide assistance for response and recovery efforts. According to the letter, NIST said it does not believe the collapse meets "their requirements for engagement."

Reynolds issued a disaster declaration the day after the collapse for victims to get help. The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200% of the poverty level. Grants can be used for food, clothing, home and car repairs and temporary housing expenses.   

Due to the age of the building, it is likely it contains asbestos. Gov. Reynolds requested the USACE to specifically assist with demolition and debris removal "to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen and avert the threat of additional damage to surrounding areas."

The apartment collapse displaced residents and resulted in multiple injuries. Three men initially unaccounted for were recovered from the rubble over the weekend and confirmed deceased. Their names are Branden Colvin, Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien.

For more information on the collapse, visit https://www.wqad.com/davenport-building-collapse

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