Restoration continues around Cedar Rapids nearly two years after derecho

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:07 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - As we near the two-year mark of the derecho, Randy Kellison remembers how his Tires Plus location looked after it hit.

“When the storm came in, it impacted the whole showroom completely,” Kellison recalled. “Then behind the showroom we had four bays there as well. And all those were impacted as well. The whole roof came off and the garage doors all came off.”

Now, it’s one business that was not only able to re-open, but expand.

“It’s outstanding,” Kellison said. “Our team is very excited. We’ve got most of our teammates back, we grew the back of the building as well. There was a different tenant occupied that side, so we took that over as well. So now we have a nine bay store instead of a seven bay store.”

Other areas are still looking at a long road of recovery ahead.

Some things that can’t be fixed and replaced nearly as quickly are the trees.

Tuesday afternoon The Arbor Day Foundation, Hy-Vee and Trees Forever continued their efforts to replace those trees.

“We lost almost 670,000 in Iowa and this is an effort to help try and replace those trees because the benefits we get from the trees preserve the natural beauty that we have in the community, that we lost that day,” said District Hy-Vee Store Director, Jamie Franck.

The event was part of a 10-year project by Trees Forever to restore the tree canopy in Cedar Rapids.

But it will likely take much longer than a decade for the city to have the same greenery, shade and views it boasted pre-derecho.

“You think about some of the 50, 60, 70, 80, 100-year-old trees that we lost around our community. This generation may not be able to see it, but the future generations are going to be able to enjoy the beauty and aspects of these trees that we’re planting.”

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