Were you affected by the Derecho in August of 2020? If you were, you're in a group with hundreds of thousands of Iowans and this is one way the federal government is trying to possibly help you. $1.4 million dollars will be granted to Iowa Legal Aid.

What is a derecho?
John D Sirlin // Shutterstock

What this means is money is going towards those who need help with legal questions and/or representation relating to the August storm, according to KCRG. The money can be used to hire attorneys and advertise. Also, the money is also being put towards technology to help prepare for what to do if another storm like that happens.

The Managing Attorney for Cedar Rapids Iowa Legal Aid is Lisa Gavin and she told KCRG that around "200 people reached out for help at the beginning but that number has increased." Many individuals who are looking for aid are dealing with contractors and insurance. She receives around 15 to 20 calls a week at this point. The problem is, they might be waiting a while.

 Based on my experience of the 2008 flood, this is going to take years. I think we closed our last case in like 2015.

There are many factors affecting the time it will take to work through all of the cases involving people who need help after the derecho. You're probably sick of hearing all of these but let's work down the list; inflation rising, supply chain problems, pandemic, and worker shortage. At this point, it feels like you can just count these off 1 by 1 with your fingers...

With no real end in sight for any of these other ongoing problems hopefully, Iowans can receive the help and aid they need, sooner rather than later. The sad truth is, it's just going to take time.

There is good news though, the money is already being put to use. According to KCRG, the money granted to Iowa Lega Aid has already been used to hire staff and attorneys who can deal with cases directly leading to the storm. There is also the idea to buy a camper and turn it into a mobile lawyer's office.

If you believe you need help from Iowa Legal Aid visit their website or call 319-364-6108.

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