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Powerful Derecho storm tore my city apart

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
I know this is a jewelry forum. But, I'm posting because my city and state were torn apart by a widespread natural disaster on Monday. I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a population of 130,000 in just the direct metro area. There is a national tragedy occurring that is getting zero media coverage. We were hit with a rare storm called a derecho, sometimes referred to as a land hurricane. Our entire area was hit with winds reaching 112 mph, sustained over the period of up to an hour. That is a category 3 hurricane. In Iowa. An area where we have (had) large, beautiful century old oak trees, pine trees, and maple trees vulnerable to wind. Our construction here is not built to withstand hurricanes, since we live inland. We had minutes of warning, not days. It came out of nowhere, swept our city up and rearranged it into something unrecognizable. Trees were turned into projectiles, cars and houses were crushed and knocked off their foundations, and buildings were blown away. The tree damage is unreal. The few out of state tree cutters that have shown up to help have said this is worse than Katrina due to the sheer scale of damage. There is severe damage to every single surrounding community for miles in every direction. A half a million customers in the state of Iowa lost power. Initally, just based on a quick visual inspection from our fire department, there are nearly 1100 homes that are uninhabitable, and thousands more with moderate structure damage in Cedar Rapids alone. 85-90% of the homes in the area are damaged. All schools have moderate to severe damage, and the debate over sending kids back to learn during the pandemic is a thing of the past. The hospitals are bursting at the seams. People are hungry because the few stores that have regained power and were in a condition to open have been stripped of supplies. Most of my friends will be out of power and communication for several more days. It's getting harder to cope as exhaustion from the endless hours of clean up and hunting for necessities sets in.

I have been one of the lucky. It happened Monday, and now on Friday I am so thankful to have power back, and the ability to get online and type this in my air conditioned home that is still standing. Our damage was minimal compared to many who have lost everything, with nowhere to go. Our shed was damaged, fence bent up by a falling tree, many trees in our backyard stripped bare, our gutters blew off our house, our roof lost it's ridge cap, and has several holes, the siding is beaten up, our ceilings have water spots and leaks, our trampoline was destroyed and some food in our fridge spoiled. But, our house is still standing, and we are safe.

I know I might get some questions about what you can do. Please, spread the word. Look up pictures, and see what I'm describing. I'll post some of my own when I am able. Post on social media. We need awareness so aid will be sent. America's heartland was destroyed this week, and it didn't even make the back page of the national news. If this had been a hurricane on the east coast, it would have received wall to wall coverage, and we as a whole are feeling like fly over country right now. 10 MILLION acres of crops were destroyed. That's almost 50% of Iowa's yeild. America's food. Once I got my internet back, I was shocked the rest of the world didn't even notice. I'm making it my mission to get my story out there as much as I can. I've lived here almost my whole life, and a big part of my history was destroyed on Monday. There are over a half a million other people who will say the exact same thing. The rest of America didn't even notice. I'm heartbroken, sad and turning numb in my grief.

Sorry for the vent! My whole world and every single person I know has just had their whole world turned upside down. Please spread the word. We need help.
 

maita13

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
676
Dear @doribird,

I’m SO sorry to hear about this catastrophic event. It is heartbreaking indeed to learn about what has happened in America’s heartland, with so many families affected and homes irreparably damaged. I don’t know what else to say except that your story is heard, and shall do my part to ensure it continues to be heard. Are there local organizations we can contact? Let us know if there are.
Please stay strong and keep safe.


 

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
Dear @doribird,

I’m SO sorry to hear about this catastrophic event. It is heartbreaking indeed to learn about what has happened in America’s heartland, with so many families affected and homes irreparably damaged. I don’t know what else to say except that your story is heard, and shall do my part to ensure it continues to be heard. Are there local organizations we can contact? Let us know if there are.
Please stay strong and keep safe.


The first Washington Post article you shared is so accurate. It was written at The Gazette, a building two blocks from where I work, and where I rode out the storm with my frightened coworkers. With unsaid words, we are all closer now for having lived through something like this together.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
38,509
Oh my, I am so very sorry :(

I will share with my family and friends.
Sending good wishes your way and please stay safe and strong.

ETA: Just asked my DH and he knows all about it. He read about on Twitter. Heartbreaking.
 

doberman

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
1,943
How awful. I really didn't think hurricanes were a problem that far inland, but I see I was wrong. Having lived through a couple of bad hurricanes and a bunch of tropical storms you have my sympathy. In the last hurricane our power was out for 3 weeks, thank goodness yours is back. But how terrible to think.of all those crops ruined.

The sad fact is that global warming is incressing the number of storms of this magnitude.
 

Slick1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
2,516
As a weather enthusiast, I was following this story. It looked terrifying on radar and on the ground. I had never heard of a Derecho prior!
I am glad you are ok and didn’t sustain much damage. I feel your pain....I just spent nearly four days without power after a storm in the northeast. It’s not fun! I will be sending your community much strength to get through this.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,341
The first time I'm hearing about this. I'm so sorry for what you guys are going through. Has it been declared a national disaster? If not, I wonder why?
I think it gets you more help and more money to get things fixed.

I just read the Washington Post article. Sad that not much is being reported and you're not getting the help you need. When there is a bad hurricane in
FL, we get lots of help from out of state electrical companies as well as the federal government.

I hope it gets some recognition soon! Again, really sorry for Iowa's situation (not much help is it though). Keep us posted...please do post some pictures.
 

mary poppins

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
2,575
Sorry to hear about this devastating event during an already awful (pandemic) time.

From USAToday:

Iowa will submit its application for a federal disaster declaration on Monday, and Iowans should have power fully restored by Tuesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday.

She said she has already spoken to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the need for help and is hopeful the disaster application will be approved quickly.

Seems like she waited a long time to ask for help. Hopefully it comes soon.



@doribird, do you have suggestions for ways to help or support local organizations that are helping? I found this list of resources and organizations collecting donations.

 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,562
Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry! 2020 sure has been an absolutely abominable year! Praying for y’all!
 

1ofakind

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
1,119
OP I had not heard that this happened. I am so sorry and hope your town can begin the restoration process soon.

Our town was hit with a storm like this a few years ago but not quite as strong winds. Still, one life was lost, some major property damage and the streets lined with 150+ year old oaks will never be the same in my lifetime. Power in some areas took weeks to be repaired. It came up so fast I did not have time to get home....I sheltered in an historic building/restaurant with a friend and when we came out I would have thought it was a huge tornado. Some other historic buildings crumbled or had major damage....we were lucky.
 

Bayek

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
7,255
i am truly sorry and feel your pain. i lived through Hurricane Fran in 1996, we lived in Raleigh, NC


We lost 25 trees, 2 hit our house, our driveway was full of trees, we lost electricity for 3 weeks, altho many homes in my subdivision lost electricity for over 6 weeks, my husband had to drive 200 miles to buy a chainsaw.. it was horrific and never ever do I want to live through that night again. We had our sons in our bedroom under the bed in case trees came into our bedroom - Raleigh is the home of the loblolly pine. At the time I believe North Carolina lost millions of trees, to this day I cannot abide the smell of wet pine trees when I do it makes me sick, weeks and weeks of power saws going.. so I feel very much for you. We also lost our swing set, window out in the game room, it was a huge mess, but we were alive.

Without a doubt without FEMA we would have been lost in Raleigh, FEMA came every week and too our wood keep the streets open, they were there EVERY step of the way for North Carolinians and I will never ever forget it, I think our president cut the funding for FEMA but if you need help they will haul away your trees etc.. great organization but unless you have needed them you wouldn't know.

Funny too, my husband called his mother in DC and told her what happened and she said wasn't on the news in DC at all other than a hurricane hit NC.. so it's not surprising no one is reading about your storm....

It's very tough to see I know.. so sorry, hopefully FEMA will help AND neighbors helping neighbors, NCers worked together. sad time..

Sending you dust for a quick cleanup and to the future of Cedar Rapids..


I know this is a jewelry forum. But, I'm posting because my city and state were torn apart by a widespread natural disaster on Monday. I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a population of 130,000 in just the direct metro area. There is a national tragedy occurring that is getting zero media coverage. We were hit with a rare storm called a derecho, sometimes referred to as a land hurricane. Our entire area was hit with winds reaching 112 mph, sustained over the period of up to an hour. That is a category 3 hurricane. In Iowa. An area where we have (had) large, beautiful century old oak trees, pine trees, and maple trees vulnerable to wind. Our construction here is not built to withstand hurricanes, since we live inland. We had minutes of warning, not days. It came out of nowhere, swept our city up and rearranged it into something unrecognizable. Trees were turned into projectiles, cars and houses were crushed and knocked off their foundations, and buildings were blown away. The tree damage is unreal. The few out of state tree cutters that have shown up to help have said this is worse than Katrina due to the sheer scale of damage. There is severe damage to every single surrounding community for miles in every direction. A half a million customers in the state of Iowa lost power. Initally, just based on a quick visual inspection from our fire department, there are nearly 1100 homes that are uninhabitable, and thousands more with moderate structure damage in Cedar Rapids alone. 85-90% of the homes in the area are damaged. All schools have moderate to severe damage, and the debate over sending kids back to learn during the pandemic is a thing of the past. The hospitals are bursting at the seams. People are hungry because the few stores that have regained power and were in a condition to open have been stripped of supplies. Most of my friends will be out of power and communication for several more days. It's getting harder to cope as exhaustion from the endless hours of clean up and hunting for necessities sets in.

I have been one of the lucky. It happened Monday, and now on Friday I am so thankful to have power back, and the ability to get online and type this in my air conditioned home that is still standing. Our damage was minimal compared to many who have lost everything, with nowhere to go. Our shed was damaged, fence bent up by a falling tree, many trees in our backyard stripped bare, our gutters blew off our house, our roof lost it's ridge cap, and has several holes, the siding is beaten up, our ceilings have water spots and leaks, our trampoline was destroyed and some food in our fridge spoiled. But, our house is still standing, and we are safe.

I know I might get some questions about what you can do. Please, spread the word. Look up pictures, and see what I'm describing. I'll post some of my own when I am able. Post on social media. We need awareness so aid will be sent. America's heartland was destroyed this week, and it didn't even make the back page of the national news. If this had been a hurricane on the east coast, it would have received wall to wall coverage, and we as a whole are feeling like fly over country right now. 10 MILLION acres of crops were destroyed. That's almost 50% of Iowa's yeild. America's food. Once I got my internet back, I was shocked the rest of the world didn't even notice. I'm making it my mission to get my story out there as much as I can. I've lived here almost my whole life, and a big part of my history was destroyed on Monday. There are over a half a million other people who will say the exact same thing. The rest of America didn't even notice. I'm heartbroken, sad and turning numb in my grief.

Sorry for the vent! My whole world and every single person I know has just had their whole world turned upside down. Please spread the word. We need help.
 

LightBright

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 11, 2013
Messages
754
I’m shocked at your story and I’m more surprised that I never heard about this in the news. I can only hope things get better for you and your state with the federal aid. I will share this story. With my sincere hope for your safety and continued strength and perserverance.
 

Bonfire

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
3,329
Hi @doribird. My 95 year old mother lives in CR by herself in her house. She is fiercely independent and won’t let us evacuate her! She’s staying with her house which thankfully wasn’t damaged. She has been without power since the Derecho hit Monday and is not expected to have it restored until Tuesday, maybe. Luckily she has wonderful neighbors that are looking in on her daily. The devastation is indescribable! They finally brought in the Iowa National Guard yesterday (Friday) The General of the Iowa guard said the devastation was like what he experienced helping in Katrina. Anyone wanting to help can give to The United Way or The American Red Cross specifically donating to Cedar Rapids Disaster relief. These folks are suffering and need any help provided.
Good luck to you @doribird, and all Cedar Rapidians! Stay strong!
 

Calliecake

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 7, 2014
Messages
7,286
I’m so sorry @doribird . I had not heard of this. I’m hoping those affected in your area get the help they need quickly. There were some fierce storms on Monday with numerous funnel clouds near Chicago and in the suburbs. I’m wondering if that could be why little was said about the storm in Cedar Rapids on our local news.

@Bonfire , I’m glad your mom is doing ok. Thank you for recommending donating to the Red Cross.
 

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
Thanks everyone for sharing where you can. We are trying to draw attention to hopefully create federal aid, and support. Today, someone posted a video of a dozen lineman trucks from Ontario, Canada headed down I-80 on their way to help us. They are our heros right now. Our governor has been dismal at best dealing with the pandemic, and her handling of this disaster is a solid F. The reports of damage coming in are staggering. My community library in Marion, Ia. lost all materials when the roof caved in and the building flooded. It will be condemned and probably torn down. I live in Marion, a town of approx. 40,000 directly connected to Cedar Rapids. Our little downtown has historical buildings dating back to the mid 1800's. Most have had their roofs torn off, and are lying in our once beautiful brick-lined streets. They have said this is a bit different than a coastal hurricane. These were winds that never changed direction, blowing from the West for an hour, not letting up. It was essentially a 40 mile wide tornado that moved over hundreds miles, wrapped in torrential rain. I'm thinking the PTSD will set in hard for many when the next storm rolls through.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,474
I heard about it from my nephew as his apartment was left uninhabitable. He and his children/partner are staying with my sister for the time being to decide what to do next. @doribird I'm very sorry you guys had to deal with that.

Our weather has become so severe in areas that would not normally get this type of stuff. What you guys got really had very little warning. I'm glad you're safe.
 

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
I heard about it from my nephew as his apartment was left uninhabitable. He and his children/partner are staying with my sister for the time being to decide what to do next. @doribird I'm very sorry you guys had to deal with that.

Our weather has become so severe in areas that would not normally get this type of stuff. What you guys got really had very little warning. I'm glad you're safe.
Yes. We had about 5 minutes warning. My coworker went out to move his car, and when he made it back to the office he told us there were poles, bricks and glass flying everywhere. He said he thought I was exaggerating at what was coming at us on the radar, and in typical Iowan fashion, went outside to move his car, while we all went to the windows to watch the storm as it quickly rolled in. Iowans are a hardy bunch, known to put lawn chairs in the driveway to watch a tornado. This storm? I have heard comments from many saying they thought they were going to die.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,474
I grew up in tornado alley so yeah get what you're saying.. I think my folks were a bit more cautious than that but still, you could tell what was coming and you also had some leeway in terms of time...usually.

I'm also pretty sure the whole covid thing did not help either. Its really one of those things we all worry about considering the state of our country.

Even though I now live in FL, that kind of stuff is no type of pleasant no matter where it is. I absolutely sympathize because You definitely can get PTSD from it.
 

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
Part of my backyard. Where's Waldo: See my daughter's trampoline hanging off my next door neighbor's deck? IMG_20200810_155509193_HDR.jpg
 

doribird

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
36
Raw footage from a local news reporter that pulled over to the side of the road before it really picked up speed over him.

 
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