City crews balancing derecho clean-up and preparing for winter

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids city crews are still dealing with the aftermath of the derecho and clean-up, and that’s put a temporary hold on other projects the city would normally be working on. On top of that, they are preparing for the winter months.

“Every year there’s a lot of planning that goes into our annual snow fight," said City Engineer Nate Kampman.

Even with an unexpected August derecho, winter won’t wait.

“Those conversations are being had, the materials we have on hand is being looked at, equipment is being looked at," said Kampman.

Salt, sand, and snow plow blades are already in supply and on site, so crews will be able to quickly transition to snow operations if and when needed. City crews are also assisting a contractor with debris clean up, but they say in the event there is a major snow storm, city crews will plow roads before returning to debris pick-up.

However, Kampman says the derecho did put some of the current road projects temporarily on hold.

“We had all types of capital improvement projects going on streets and sewers and what not when the derecho struck,” said Kampman.

The city is working against time to finish up projects already in the pipeline. Multi-year projects like the first avenue project will continue as previously planned.

“It’s been a little bit of stress on staffing to keep up through the derecho because we have our tree debris removal operation going on. We have a lot of staff and we continue to have staff that help with that, but we’ve adjusted on the fly. A lot of people worked a lot of extra hours," Kampman said.

The city also says they do not anticipate delays associated with their ability to respond to pothole patching right now.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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