Facts & Figures

Get the latest disaster- and recovery-related data.

State/FEMA Disaster Assistance (IA, PA, SBA)

Current May 13, 2010

Number of individuals who have filed for assistance with FEMA:
39,928

Housing Assistance approved:
23,289 households approved for $122.4 million

Small Business Administration loans approved for homeowners:
$160.9 million

Small Business Administration loans approved for businesses:
$111.5 million

Federal assistance approved for Public Assistance projects:
$848.1 million

Total State and Federal Assistance approved so far:
$1.3 billion

General

Timeline: May 25 – August 13, 2008
The official “incident period” for the devastating Iowa storms and floods of 2008 began on May 25 with the tornado that hit Butler and Black Hawk Counties, and closed on August 13, when all rivers in Iowa had fallen below flood stage.

Governor-declared disaster counties: 86 (covering roughly 45,000 square miles and almost 700 cities and towns). Source: HSEMD

  • Total number of square miles in the state of Iowa: 56,272
  • Total number of cities and towns in the state of Iowa: 947 ( Source: Iowa League of Cities)
  • Total number of counties in the state of Iowa: 99

Presidentially-declared disaster counties: 85 (77 counties eligible for both IA and PA; 7 counties eligible for PA only; 1 county eligible for IA only). Source: FEMA

Individual Assistance
(Assistance to individuals and households):
Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monona, Montgomery, Monroe, Muscatine, Page, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Story, Tama, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Webster, Winneshiek, Winnebago, Worth, and Wright Counties.
Source: FEMA

Public Assistance
(Assistance to State and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities):
Adams, Adair, Allamakee, Appanoose, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Chickasaw, Cedar, Clarke, Clayton, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Humboldt, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Montgomery, Monona, Monroe, Muscatine, Page, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Winnebago, Winneshiek, Worth, and Wright Counties for Public Assistance.
Butler County for emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.
Source: FEMA

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
All counties in the State of Iowa are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Source: FEMA

Total number of storm, tornado, and flood-related deaths: 18
Total number of persons injured: 106
Source: Iowa State Coroner

Estimated number of people displaced by tornadoes and flooding: 38,000
Source: HSEMD

Pets/Animals: More than 1,500 animals placed in rescue shelters due to the disasters (More than 1,200 pets in Cedar Rapids and 300 pets in Iowa City were rescued)
Over 50,000 volunteer hours were logged for the Cedar Rapids Shelter

Number of swine drowned in the flooding: About 3,100 (with another 1,000 swine estimated to be lost or now feral)
Number of animals moved prior to flooding: More than 37,000

Sandbags distributed: More than 6,000,000 (Six million)
Gallons of water distributed: More than 300,000 gallons

Amount of debris removed from affected communities: 166,680 tons (includes construction & demolition materials and vegetation debris)
Source: State/FEMA Joint Field Office, Sept. 3, 2008

Agriculture and Environment

Acres of farmland:

  • Estimated 1.2 million acres of corn and soybeans lost (note: some areas were able to replant.) (A&E TF)
    • Final impact on crops will likely not be able to be calculated until the frost date to determine how weather and replanting affected actual harvested crop yields
  • Flooding took an estimated 400,000 soybean acres out of production (IDALS, July 2008 estimates)
  • Damages to Iowa’s agriculture and 2.5 to 3 times greater than the flooding of 1993 (A&E TF)
  • About 20 million acres, or 90% of acres, in Iowa are insured.
    • On average, these acres are insured at only 73% of their value. (A&E TF Report)

Soil conservation impacts

Number of grassed waterway sites needing repair following the flooding: 12,157
Number of terrace sites needing repair following the flooding: 8,137
Number of water and sediment control basins needing repair following the flooding: 3,375
Number of grade stabilization structure sites needing repair following the flooding: 800

Infrastructure and Transportation

Number of state roads closed during the disaster: 24
Number of highways closed during the disaster: 20
Number of secondary roads closed during the disaster: 1,000+
Source: HSEMD

Weather

Weather and Precipitation Statistics
Source: NOAA National Weather Service, Sept. 3, 2008

  • For Des Moines, the 2008 summer season (June 1 through August 31) was the third wettest on record with 23.57 inches of rain. (1993 was the wettest with 29.67 inches.)
  • For the year so far, Des Moines is 12.22 inches above normal for precipitation, or around 148% of normal.
  • For the year so far, Waterloo has received 37.86 inches of precipitation, which is 13.36 inches above normal, or 155% of normal.

Precipitation totals by area
Source: State Climatology Bureau, IDALS, Sept. 2008

  • Every region of the state, with the exception of northwest Iowa, has seen above-average precipitation for Jan. – Aug. 2008.
    • Northwest -- 20.94 inches / 1.14 in. less than average
    • North Central – 31.07 inches / 6.42 in. more than average
    • Northeast – 37.13 in. / 11.84 in. more than average
    • West Central – 27.72 in. / 4.39 in. more than average
    • Central – 37.03 in. / 11.50 in. more than average
    • East Central – 35.94 in. / 10.50 in. more than average
    • Southwest – 31.60 in. / 5.93 in. more than average
    • South Central – 37.23 in. / 11.37 in. more than average
    • Southeast – 33.01 in. / 7.10 in. more than average
  • Overall, the State of Iowa has received an average of 32.18 inches of precipitation this year (Jan. – Aug. 2008), which is 7.37 in. more than average.

Weather Records
Source: State Climatology Bureau, IDALS

  • 2007 was the fourth wettest year in 135 years, and the winter season of 2007-08 was the eighth wettest winter on record.
  • April 2008 was the second wettest April.
  • There was a record-setting wet 15-day period in early June 2008.

Misc. Facts

More fatalities occur in the United States each year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard because people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.

Two feet of floodwater can float your car.

Water moving at 2 mph is capable of sweeping a car off a road or bridge.

Source: Iowa DOT