Iowa National Guard soldiers remove tree limbs and other debris from power lines and roadways, Aug. 14, 2020, after a derecho hit the eastern part of the state. In the first three days of response efforts, the soldiers moved nearly 2.25 million pounds of debris and cleared the equivalent of 68 city blocks. Iowa National Guard soldiers remove tree limbs and other debris from power lines and roadways Friday,
in an area hit by the derecho that swept over Iowa Aug. 10. (Credit: Army Staff Sgt. Jason Everett/DOD)

The Aegon Transamerica Foundation is giving $250,000 to United Way of East Central Iowa, to help Iowa recover from a derecho that blew through the Midwest Aug. 10, the company announced today.

A derecho is a windstorm with wind that blows in a straight line, about as hard as the wind in a hurricane. The Aug. 10 derecho caused billions of dollars in damage in Iowa and other states.

(Related: MDRT Gives $50,000 to Firefighters in Australia)

Aegon is based in the Hague, in the Netherlands. The company’s Transamerica unit is now based in Baltimore and has major operations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

 

The derecho knocked out electricity for more than 1 million people in Iowa, including many in the Cedar Rapids area.

Transamerica said it recently gave $50000 to United Way of East Central Iowa to support COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.

“United Way has proven to have the necessary resources to direct timely assistance to where it is needed most, and the ability to help speed the recovery of the communities hardest hit by the storm,” the company said in a comment about the contribution.

The derecho affected the operations of many businesses associated with the insurance industry, including Wink Inc., a life insurance and annuity information firm. Sheryl Moore, the company’s president, reported Aug. 12 that the company was temporarily without power or telephone service due to storm damage.

In addition to giving $250,000 to United Way directly, through the Aegon Transamerica Foundation, Transamerica will match up to $250,000 in employee donations made to the East Central Iowa chapter of United Way, the company said.

“Transamerica has long been a part of the Cedar Rapids community and our hearts go out to those affected by this devastating and unexpected storm,” Jay Orlandi, Transamerica’s chief operating officer, said in a comment included in the contribution announcement.

Transamerica employees in Cedar Rapids “have shown incredible resiliency in the face of such great adversity,” Orlandi said.

Sizing the Storm

Official derecho damage estimates are still evolving.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has asked the federal government for $3.8 billion in aid for Iowa alone.

Dr. Joel Myers, the chief executive officer of AccuWeather, has estimated in a statement included in an AccuWeather news article that the derecho may have caused a total of $11 billion in damage, including damage to 10 million acres of crops in Iowa.

 

— Read Principal Backs Disaster Fundon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.