Thousands Lose Power, Cleanup Underway Following Severe Weather

Staff Reports

Tree went down along 10th Ave and 18th Street in Marion after a severe storm passed thru with 80 plus mph winds. Submitted by buddyburton


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A line of severe storms moved through much of central and eastern Iowa Friday producing hail, rain, strong winds and knocking out power to thousands.

At the peak of the storm, more than 20,000 utility customers were without power in Linn, Benton, Iowa, Johnson and Jones Counties. Crews from Alliant Energy have been dispatched to repair damage and re-establish electrical power.

Alliant Energy spokesperson Justin Foss posted on the KCRG Facebook page, "Our crews estimate at least 30 power poles are down across Cedar Rapids. We also are hearing reports of more than 45 trees affecting power lines."

As of 10:30 p.m. Friday, Alliant Energy reported that crews had restored service to 60-70% of their customers affected by power outages Friday. Alliant said crews will be working overnight and hope to have power restored to all customers by the end of the day on Saturday.

Winds of 72 mph were reported near Grinnell, where a semitrailer had jackknifed on Interstate 80. Officials say winds toppled a barn near Searsboro. There are no reports of injuries.

Volunteers in Marengo are cleaning up after storms moved through. The worst of the damage appeared to be at Capper’s Iowa Outdoor Power along Highway 6. Half of the roof was blown off of the building and across the street. Some of the roof ended up in the neighboring Charles Capper Auto Center where it damaged at least six cars.

Winds were so powerful that they blew a 2×4 from the roof of the building through the tire of a new Chevy truck.

The winds, which witnesses estimated to be well over 70 mph, also knocked down trees over 100 years old. Many limbs and branches are down throughout downtown Marengo. Damage has also been reported in Williamsburg and Victor, in Iowa County.
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