Governor Kim Reynolds; ‘Derecho impact bigger than the flood of 2008′
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Governor Kim Reynolds called the derecho that hit Eastern Iowa and left more 200,000 people without power for days “devastating.”
The Governor, who exclusively talked to KCRG-TV9 News’ Beth Malicki in a live on-air interview Thursday, said the damage is more widespread than the 2008 flood, the national guard will be in Linn County on Friday and utility companies have never seen more destruction in their history.
“It’s just so widespread, said she said” “I think we had wind gusts up to 145 mph at some of its heights. It’s just like a 40-mile wide tornado that lasted for multiple hours that covered almost our entire state. It is devastating.”
At a press conference earlier on Monday, Alliant Energy said it would take five to seven days for power to be “substantially” restored in Iowa’s second-largest city.
Governor Kim Reynolds called the current time table from utility companies predicting a five to 10-day timeline to turn on power “unacceptable”
“I need them to think outside the box to work together to figure out how we can get Iowan’s power and how we can get it sooner rather than later.”
The Governor said she gave utility companies a 10 a.m. deadline Friday to turn in a plan on how the state can help give utility companies the resources they need.
“We’re making progress, but not fast enough,” she said.
The Governor also confirmed the National Gaurd will be on the ground starting Friday.
She said the guard will send 100 engineers to Linn County for tree debris removal and stagging meals. Reynolds also said this is just the first wave and more members of the national guard could be sent to Linn County if necessary.
Governor Kim Reynolds did not give any specifics on what options schools in the area will have to reopen. The Cedar Rapids Community School District said more than 20 of its buildings were damaged in the storms.
The district’s superintendent, Noreen Bush, said that all buildings in the district have some form of damage, including major tree damage, major roof damage at 16 buildings, minor roof damage at 12 buildings, and minor roof damage like punctures at the rest of the buildings.
Bush said they don’t know when they will be able to start the school year this year because of the derecho.
Reynolds said she understands the school district is in communication with the Iowa Department of Education to find a
“You know it’s tough,” she said. “You know when you look at COVID and the impact of that and you know we’re trying to get life and livelihoods back to normal and then to be hit with a storm of this magnitude and a disaster of this magnitude, people are tired, they’re worn out.”
The Governor said she plans on coming to Cedar Rapids Friday for the first time since the Derecho. She spent the day in Des Moines for an appearance at a President Donald Trump campaign event with Vice President Mike Pence and was in Marion Tuesday to look at damage from the storm.
She said the Vice President said Iowa will have the full resources and support of the federal government as recovery efforts continue.
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