Iowa officials say ecosystem’s derecho recovery could take a generation

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 6:03 PM CDT
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(NBC) - It has been nearly a year since the derecho windstorm devastated Iowa, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources believes it will take a full generation for our ecosystem to recover from the storm.

A new report from the state DNR estimates the derecho wiped out more than $4 million trees throughout central and eastern Iowa on Aug. 10.

The agency believes the lack of trees could cause Iowa’s air quality to plummet and hurt flood mitigation ability — and that regrowing the lost trees could take decades.

The DNR is encouraging all Iowans to plant new trees as soon as they can.

“We just need to keep tree replanting in the forefront of our minds,” said Nick McGrath, disaster recovery coordinator at Iowa DNR. “As we feel those effects the increased costs of air conditioning, the heat outside, the air quality as it diminishes I think that will continue to push tree planting.”

The DNR is also offering some monetary grants to encourage communities to plant trees.

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