Report: National Guard deploying to Cedar Rapids for storm damage

Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 5:59 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa Senator Liz Mathis says Iowa National Guard troops will be deployed Friday to help with storm recovery efforts in Linn County.

Sen. Mathis said Adjutant General Ben Correll confirmed to her a unit of 100 engineers will arrive in Cedar Rapids Thursday and begin fanning out to assess damage Friday morning.

The unit will work at the behest of the Linn County Emergency Management on priority areas. The unit will focus on debris removal and monitoring burn sites. The soldiers will stage out of the National Guard armory on Wright Brothers Boulevard near the Eastern Iowa Airport.

The deployment follows growing calls among Cedar Rapids residents for more help from the state, specifically asking for National Guard soldiers to help with debris removal and cleanup.

Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz said Thursday the city had requested more assistance from Linn County Emergency Management and the State of Iowa but were not specifically sure if that resource would come from the Iowa National Guard.

Sen. Mathis said Iowa Homeland Security told state lawmakers they are working on gathering damage assessments to expedite a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration. That would allow FEMA to send in manpower and financial resources to help with recovery.

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