Wednesday marks 2-years since the 2020 derecho and restoration is underway

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - August 10th marks two years since the 2020 derecho ripped through parts of Eastern Iowa.

Winds reached an estimated 140 MPH and destroyed around 600,000 trees in Cedar Rapids, according to ReLeaf Program Manager Carole Teator.

Teator’s program is a partnership between the city and Tree’s Forever with an effort to restore city trees as well as residential. It took around a year and a half to get the plans solidified, but this Spring, they were able to start moving forward.

“Since the city adopted the relief plan in February this year, we planted just under 1000,” said Teator. “That’s a little ahead of schedule; our goal for year one was to plant 1,700.”

The hope is to plant 42,000 trees in the city right of ways as well as city parks over the next ten years. That doesn’t include the efforts to plant residential trees through Trees Forever. Planting that many trees come with its own challenges.

“There just aren’t enough trees in the supply chain,” she said. “Not just the number of trees the city wants, but private residence planting over the next few years.”

The total cost over the next ten years is around $37 million. Once the city starts getting some of the trees into the ground, the next step is caring for them.

“In year three, we will be watering 7-thousand trees,” she said. “Then after that, it will be ten thousand trees each year that we will be watering.”

The program is only in the beginning stages of the restoration efforts, which, we’re told will leave an impact for years to come.

“We can be proud of residents; it’s not just about planting the threes for the people today but for generations to come,” she said.

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