Deadline approaching for utility assistance in Iowa

Deadline approaching for utility assistance in Iowa
Deric Shea works to help strip a house after floodwaters receded in Pacific Junction, Iowa. Federal aid and organizations like United Way have made recovery efforts easier. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Iowans who are at risk of having their utilities cut off because they’re behind on their bills have a few more days to take action.

Because of this year’s flooding, the Iowa Utilities Board extended the moratorium on utility shut-offs by about six weeks.

The moratorium ends Tuesday, which means utilities can proceed with disconnecting service. The goal behind the extension was to allow people to begin recovery before worrying about losing heat or electricity because of overdue bills.

The moratorium applies to utility customers who qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or the home Weatherization Assistance Program, whose property is in a county that has been declared a disaster and who were at risk of shut-off as of April 1.

For information, contact the utilities board at 877-565-4450 or

Iowa receives $3 million to pay wages for recovery efforts

Iowa has received a $3 million federal grant to provide temporary jobs to people helping with flood cleanup. The grant was announced Thursday by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.

It can be used to fund cleanup in the 56 counties that have been declared eligible for public assistance under a federal disaster declaration.

Iowa received the full amount that it requested.

WellCare donates $25,000 to United Way for flood recovery

WellCare of Nebraska, a company that manages health care provided through Medicaid, has donated $25,000 to United Way of the Midlands to help people recover from the March floods.

The donation is intended to help with a variety of needs, including housing, counseling, case management, meals and legal services.

The Community Connections Help Line, a toll-free, nationwide line also is available to people who need help accessing resources and social services: 866-775-2192.

As of the end of March, WellCare served about 80,000 Medicaid recipients in Nebraska.