IOWA DERECHO 2020

Iowa storm updates: Latest info on recovery efforts in the Cedar Rapids area, Aug. 20

Here is the latest news on recovery efforts, cleanup, shelters opening and more in the Cedar Rapids area for Thursday, Aug. 20. The Gazette staff will update this with new information as it becomes available. 

» WHERE TO FIND FOOD AND WATER: List of food and ice distribution sites, and free meals being served

» HOW TO HELP: Where to donate to help storm victims

» MORE RESOURCES: For residents affected by the storm, including tree removal help

» TREE DEBRIS DROP-OFF: Locations in the Cedar Rapids area 

Get rent, mortgage help through grant

The Iowa Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors have announced a grant program for individuals in need of rent or mortgage assistance from the impact of derecho. 

Apply at iowarealtors.com/news/derecho-storm-relief. This grant can help individuals affected by the storm with mortgage payment assistance or rental costs due to displacement up to $1,000 per applicant.

Some scenarios that would be eligible:

A homeowner with a mortgage who was displaced due to damage of their home.

• A homeowner with a mortgage living in their home without power due to the storm damage.

• A renter who was displaced due to damage of their apartment building.

Marion residents can use online form to report storm-related needs 

On Thursday, the city of Marion launched an online tool for reporting ongoing storm-related needs. It is designed to help city leaders gain a better understanding of individual needs and connect residents with the appropriate resources. Find the online request form at cityofmarion.org/RequestAssistance. Those without internet access can continue to call 319-743-6300.

Do not stack debris where National Guard has already cleared

As you’re clearing debris from your yards, please do not stack it in areas cleared by the National Guard. The spaces are being cleared to allow power utility trucks a place to safely locate and connect service, home-by-home on every street, the city of Cedar Rapids and Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday. Placing debris in these locations prevents the trucks from getting to your street.

 

Tree removal updates from the city

A map of tree debris removal progress will be updated daily by the City of Cedar Rapids. The map will give residents a general idea of the status of their neighborhood. Find the map here

Check trees on your property to ensure there are no structural issues

Because of storm severity and out of a concern for safety, the City of Cedar Rapids encourages residents to pay special attention to their trees and ensure there are no structural issues. Information regarding private property and right-of-way trees

• Right-of-way, city trees: These trees will be assessed over the next several months to determine if they will survive long term.

• Trees on private property: Residents are encouraged to do a thorough examination of trees on their property. Look up into the tree canopy for broken or dead limbs and check for signs that indicate a tree may be in distress.

• Find a certified arborist. Not all tree services have certified arborists on staff who can assess the structural integrity of trees and determine if they will recover. The forestry division maintains list of resources to help residents find a certified arborist, available here.

Residents asked to fill out State of Iowa Preliminary Damage Assessment Survey

Residents and commercial property owners are encouraged to report damage to their property (homes, garages, sheds, etc.) by using an online form created by the State of Iowa. This form does NOT take the place of an insurance claim. The report serves as another assessment tool to help the City's Building Services department quickly identify areas that sustained damage. Access the form at: cedar-rapids.org/report-damage.

How to verify if contractors are licensed in Iowa

Any general contractor doing work locally is required to be licensed and registered through the State of Iowa. Cedar Rapids and Marion have created ways to help verify if your contractor is able to work in Iowa. Visit medcoiowa.org/disasterrecovery or call the Cedar Rapids Building Services Department at 319-286-5929, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

What you need to know about permits for repair, demolition work

Call before digging: The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) reminds anyone whose restoration efforts involve digging to call 811 or visit the Iowa One Call website for information on scheduling a utility locate before beginning a project.

IN CEDAR RAPIDS:

Home Repair Permits: Permits are required for home repairs, including roof or structural repairs, or substantial interior repairs. Your contractor is responsible for obtaining the appropriate permits from our Building Services department. The City is doing everything possible to expedite these permits so residents and their contractor can begin repairs immediately.

Additional questions about permits can be directed to our Building Services Department at 286-5831.

Demolitions: For safety, proper utility disconnections must be verified prior to demolition, which is part of the permit process. For any questions related to the permit process, please contact Building Services at 319-286-5831.

IN MARION:

Emergency repair work can begin without a permit. However, building permits are required for home repairs, including roof or structural repairs, or substantial interior repairs. Contractors are responsible for obtaining the appropriate permits from the City of Marion.

Permits are not required for tree removal. A list of local and registered non-local tree removal companies is linked at cityofmarion.org/StormResponse. Be sure to check this list as you consider entering into agreements with non-local companies that you may not be familiar with.

More information about building permits is available at cityofmarion.org. Questions may be directed to the Building Services Division at 319-743-6330.

Placards: Some buildings have been placarded with yellow and red cards. A yellow placard indicates home/business owners can enter at their own risk, making it permissible to go in and collect belongings. A red placard indicates a structural or electrical issue and it is not safe to enter. Only qualified contractors are permitted to enter.

Inspections: Building inspections are being handled in order of necessity (i.e. electrical, concrete/foundation work and underground plumbing). The department expects regular inspections will resume by the end of the week.

Rental inspections will be delayed for at least six weeks. The City will be communicating with landlords to clarify the responsibilities of tenants and owners.

Recycling pickup resumes Monday, yard waste pickup restarts Aug. 31

The Solid Waste and Recycling Division will begin collecting recycling containers again starting next Monday, Aug. 24.

Customers can place any recycling items that do not fit in their CURBY cart in a large cardboard box. The crews will collect the box and its contents for free along with other recycling on their regular collection day. 

The city expects to resume collection of the green yard waste – or YARDY – carts starting the week of Aug. 31.

The city also is working to remove non-tree-related storm debris and materials damaged in the storm and plans to begin collecting these items next week. Place storm debris at the curb in separate piles from tree debris. 

Please do NOT dispose of lithium ion batteries in your cart or in debris piles. These require special disposal at the Solid Waste Agency at 1954 County Home Road, Marion. Details: solidwasteagency.org/recycling/batteries-bulbs-sharps.

Neighborhood Resource Centers updated in Cedar Rapids

Five Neighborhood Resource Centers are open to residents in the Cedar Rapids area. The centers are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and be staffed with city employees and volunteers. The sites will provide food and daily updates on services for residents. Additional resources will continue to be added including supplies for clean-up, and legal and mental health assistance. The updates will be translated into French, Spanish, Swahili and Kirundi. The translated updates will be available at the sites a day after the English version to allow time for translation.

• Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd SW

• Northwest Recreation Center parking lot, 1340 11th St. NW

• St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 1340 Third Ave. SE

• Taylor Elementary School, 720 Seventh Ave. SW

• Metro High School, 1212 Seventh St. SE

The sites are coordinated by Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster organizations. Services will transition as additional resident needs are assessed.

Iowa hotline, website available for mental health help

COVID Recovery Iowa is responding to the mental health needs of Iowans impacted by the recent storm. Help is available by contacting the Iowa Concern Hotline.

Iowans in need of assistance can contact the Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985 or go to covidrecoveryiowa.org. Program staff can also provide referrals and information about programs that will help Iowans manage stress, family financial and farm financial concerns.

Charging stations and internet access in Cedar Rapids 

Locations will open according to the schedule below until electrical power in Cedar Rapids has been restored:

• U.S. Cellular Center Arena (370 First Ave. NE): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Enter the arena off First Avenue near the Fourth Street railroad tracks. Masks are required for everyone inside the arena, and individual charging stations are social-distanced.

• Downtown Public Library (450 Fifth Ave. SE): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Connections will be available outside of the library's main entrance.

Locations for charging medical devices in Cedar Rapids 

The following locations in Cedar Rapids are open for residents that need a place to charge medical equipment or need a day shelter. Please note that medical supplies are not available at these locations. These locations are available daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

 Downtown Public Library (Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street in the parking lot)

• Twin Pines Golf Course (parking lot, 3800 42nd St. NE)

• Northwest Recreation Center (parking lot), 1340 11th St. NW)

• Shores Event Center (Corner of F Avenue and 16th Street NE in the back parking lot)

Day shelters in Cedar Rapids, surrounding areas

These locations are available during the daytime for residents in need:

• Cedar Rapids: Veritas Church, 509 Third St. SE. (Hours will be listed when known)

• Center Point: Anderson Public Library, 720 Main St. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday.

• Hiawatha: City of Hiawatha Community Center: 101 Emmons St. 7:30 a .m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.

• Robins: City of Robins Community Center: 265 S. Second St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

• Springville: City of Springville City Hall: 304 Broadway St. 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

• Coggon: Coggon Old Fire Station: 112 Second St. S. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. No air conditioning.

• Palo: City of Palo Community Center: 2800 Hollenbeck Road. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Also an overnight shelter.

Overnight shelters in Cedar Rapids area

The American Red Cross has opened an overnight shelters. Individuals and families who have been impacted by the storm and power outages are welcome to the shelter where Red Cross volunteers are on hand to assist. Protocols are in place to ensure social distancing and additional steps are taken to maintain a safe environment in the shelter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 50 Second Ave. Bridge

• Palo Community Center,  2800 Hollenbeck Road. 

Anyone in need of assistance can call 1-800-RED-CROSS and select option “4,” then option “2,” then option “2” again, and provide information on their location so appropriate services can be arranged.

Download the Red Cross Emergency App for shelter information and to get instant access to information and resources. The app is free and can be downloaded in app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or going to redcross.org/apps.

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