Iowa emergency management chief criticized


July 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state’s emergency management commander has been criticized as missing in action during part of the fight against flooding in western Iowa. Woodbury County Emergency Management Director Gary Brown told The Des Moines Register says that the absences of Derek Hill have delayed aid requests and slowed flood-fighting efforts.

Woodbury and five other western Iowa counties have been declared federal disaster areas. Brown said of Hill, “He’s been gone a lot.”

Hill is administrator of the Iowa Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He rejected the criticism and says he’s been in close contact with his staff whenever he’s been away. On Monday he began an eight-day Arizona vacation, and he’s spent nearly eight days on duty with the Iowa National Guard since June 1st.