Marshalltown cemetery still seeking help to recover from 2020 derecho

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MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA — A small cemetery in Marshall County still has a massive damage bill its trying to pay down after last August’s devestating derecho storm. Riverside General Cemetery in Marshalltown received more than $800,000 in damage from the historic wind storm. Community fundraising has helped bring that figure down to around half-a-million dollars – but that is still much more than can be afforded.

“We still have a lot more work to do,” says caretaker Dorrie Tammen. “Root balls in the ground … monuments are still toppled and broken trees still need to come down.” The needed repairs also include new fencing and a new roof on one building.

The cemetery was denied federal cleanup funds. Tammen says FEMA specifically excludes ‘perpetual care of a cemetery’ from funding. The cemetery is also used as a public park. Tammen plans to re-apply for FEMA money but asking for funding set aside for park space.

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