Crews worked to restore power to thousands of Iowans following Monday’s derecho. CREDIT KCRG

By CBJ News Staff
news@corridorbusiness.com

Three more counties were added to a state disaster declaration Wednesday, as power companies continued efforts to restore electricity to over 200,000 Iowa utility customers that have been without power for nearly three days.

Gov. Kim Reynolds added Jones County, Jackson County and Grundy County to a state disaster declaration, placing the entire Corridor within the disaster declaration area. The declaration triggers eligibility for disaster assistance programs, some of which are income-based, others of which are eligible to all impacted residents. A total of 23 counties have now been named disaster areas.

About 200,000 Iowans remained without power at 8:45 a.m. today, according to CBJ coverage partner KCRG-TV9, including 148,000 Alliant Energy customers, of which nearly half are in Linn County, and 14,000 Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative customers. Due to the power loss, most of them also lack internet service. Alliant Energy reported that power was restored to a significant part of downtown Cedar Rapids Wednesday.

Cedar Rapids Community School District emailed parents that the start of fall classes will be delayed to an as-yet undetermined date due to the derecho’s impact, and staff will not report to school as planned on the week of Aug. 17. The district’s Kennedy High School sustained widespread damage, however Superintendent Noreen Bush said in an email that all district buildings have some form of damage, including major roof damage at 16 buildings.

In a joint statement, ITC Midwest and Alliant Energy said 350 miles of lines in Linn County were impacted by the derecho and 1,200 miles of lines across its service area were impacted. ITC said it mobilized 500 field utility workers to repair and rebuild the transmission system, while Alliant Energy said it has brought crews from its Wisconsin service territory and other utilities around the country to help restore power. Power was restored to more than 100,000 customers as of 9 a.m. CBJ