IOWA DERECHO 2020

Iowa storm updates: Latest on cleanup, food distribution, outages in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City areas, Aug. 13

Here are the latest updates on food distribution, cleanup, power outages and more in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas for Thursday, Aug. 13. Gazette staff will continue to update this article as information is available throughout the day. For Wednesday's updates, click here.  

» FOOD/WATER: Click here for details on food and water distribution sites

» STORM RESOURCES: Cedar Rapids is sharing this flyer with important information for residents

Medical clinics reopening in Cedar Rapids

After days without power and limited internet and cell connectivity, a number of local clinics are beginning to reopen as of Thursday.

Among those are urgent care clinics in Cedar Rapids and Marion.

The UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care Marion and UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care Westside, as well as the UnityPoint Clinic Express at Peck’s Landing, were reopened by Thursday afternoon. The clinics will be open under regular hours on Friday.

MercyCare North Urgent Care, MercyCare Marion Family Practice and Urgent Care and MercyCare North Liberty Family Practice and Urgent Care all reopened Thursday.

For those seeking mental health services, all Abbe Mental Health Center locations are now open, but with limited services. However, Abbe Health Mental Health Center main campus and Behavioral Health Associations in Hiawatha are open under regular hours.

Those with urgent needs should call 563-927-6700 for referral and triage.

Mercy Medical Center has also established a phone line for patients with questions regarding their appointments, available every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 319-398-6497.

A full list of clinic openings and closures can be found at unitypoint.org/cedarrapids and mercycare.org.

Cedar Rapids news conference at 3 p.m.

The City of Cedar Rapids will update the community about ongoing efforts to respond and recover from the Monday's storm at 3 p.m. Thursday. 

» WATCH: Click this link to tune in at 3 p.m. 

The news conference will be streamed live on the City of Cedar Rapids Facebook page from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, 713 First Ave. SE.

City leaders and members of the City’s Incident Management Team, along with community partners, will attend. 

Cedar Rapids hospital ERs see over 500 patients in 24 hours

In total, both Cedar Rapids hospitals have seen more than 500 patients in their emergency rooms in the past 24 hours as power outages still plague the community and the cleanup effort is still well underway.

After Monday’s storm walloped Eastern Iowa, causing tens of thousands to go without power, internet or cell service this week, many clinics and urgent cares in the Cedar Rapids metro area remain closed.

As a result, those with medical devices or other underlying conditions exasperated by the storm’s impact are seeking help at local hospitals. That’s in addition to the many patients turning up in the emergency room with cleanup related injuries

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital saw 265 patients in its emergency room as of Thursday, according to Spokeswoman Sarah Corizzo. The hospital also reported more than 200 patients on Monday and Tuesday.

Mercy Medical Center’s emergency room staff saw 247 patients over the course of Wednesday, said Spokeswoman Karen Vander Sanden. About 175 of those patients, or about 70 percent, are a result of the storm. That includes injuries as well as those needing treatment for related respiratory and cardiac issues. The day before, on Tuesday, the hospital reported an all-time high in patient volumes with 249 total emergency room visits.

Neither hospital were able to identify how many of those patients were storm-related.

Where to charge medical equipment in the Cedar Rapids area

(Repost from yesterday's updates, with addition of Walford) The following locations are open for residents who need a place to go to charge medical equipment or need a day shelter. Medical supplies are not available at these locations. Residents are asked to visit their medical care supply provider for new oxygen tanks, diabetic supplies, etc.

• Center Point: Anderson Public Library, Center Point Community Room, 720 Main St. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. Visitors must social distance. Only outlets with red-covered plates have power.

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

• Palo: City of Palo Community Center: 2800 Hollenbeck Road. 8 a.m. to 4 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.

• Srpringville: 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.

• Walford: Walford City Hall, 120 Fifth St. N. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Those needing access after hours, please call Walford City Hall at 319-846-3103

Because city transit is suspended, there is no public transportation available to these sites. 

Need Pizza open for WiFi

Need Pizza at 207 Second Ave. SE in downtown Cedar Rapids is offering the public a place to charge phones and use WiFi through the rest of Thursday afternoon.

“We have power,” said owner Bob Wagner. “We can share it.”

Wagner also is offering one 20-pound bag of ice per person while they last.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep doing it,” he said about being open after Thursday. “Stay tuned.”

— Mike Hlas

Volunteer to help the storm recovery 

The Linn County Emergency Management Agency is trying to gather volunteers to help during storm recovery. 

If you are interested in volunteering, fill out the registration form at unitedwayofeastcentraliowa.galaxydigital.com or you can stop by the Linn County EMA to fill out the form online. Linn County EMA is on the Kirkwood Community College campus in Cedar Rapids, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW.

Family of 8 treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, left car on to charge phones

A family of eight in Marion was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at their home on Thursday morning, according to a news release from the city. 

Medical care was given to the family as a Marion Fire Department crew entered the home to find dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. The cause was found to be a running vehicle in an attached garage with garage doors partially open, the release said. The family was running the vehicle to charge cellphones.

The Marion Fire Department said in the release that it urges people to use caution when using generators or running vehicles during power outages.

— Gage Miskimen

Marion relocates yard waste drop-off site, adds site for food disposal

The Marion yard waste drop off facility has moved according to a Thursday morning city news release.

The drop off sit, formerly at 195 35th St. is now located on the 200 block of 44th St. in Marion. The site will be open daily for residents from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. the release said.

A food waste disposal site for Marion residents has been added as well at the Marion Recycling drop off center at 195 35th St. Only food waste will be accepted the release states. The hours are also 7 a.m.-7 p.m. The Marion recycling drop off center will not be accepting recycling until further notice.

The city of Marion will be allowing an extra can or bag on curbs at this time without the need of a bag tag the release said.

— Gage Miskimen

About 5,000 still without power in Iowa City; Summit St. reopens

As of 8:30 a.m. Thursday, about 5,000 Iowa City residents still were without power after Monday’s storm, Iowa City reported.

Iowa City’s Summit Street between Court and Bowery streets reopened Thursday morning after crews cleared downed power lines and trees.

Some major roads still are closed. These include Muscatine Avenue between Dearborn Street and Seventh Avenue and Dodge Street between Burlington and Bowery streets.

Some areas may take additional days to clear because the city must wait for MidAmerican Energy to ensure the area is safe for cleanup crews, the city reported.

More information about power outages can be found at MidAmerican's Outage Watch webpage

— Erin Jordan

Hy-Vee providing free snacks, water in Cedar Rapids neighborhoods

In response to severe storm damage across Iowa earlier this week, Hy-Vee, Inc. announced Wednesday that it will donate snacks and beverages to residents in need across the Cedar Rapids area.

Hy-Vee semi-trailers and the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile will be in the Cedar Rapids area on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile will be providing beverages and snacks as it navigates Cedar Rapids area neighborhoods to help with recovery efforts both days. In addition, the Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobile will be making stops throughout neighborhoods allowing residents without power the ability to charge their mobile phones. 

• 11 a.m.: Oakhill Jackson neighborhood
• 1 p.m.: Taylor Neighborhood, near Taylor Elementary
• 3 p.m.: LADD Library
• 4 p.m.: Marion Village

In addition, Hy-Vee and HACAP have partnered for a contactless drive thru giveaway on Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium, 950 Rockford Road SW, beginning at 11 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. or until supplies last. Hy-Vee is donating $68,000 in products, which includes more than 140,000 bottles of water and a combination of more than 80,000 protein bars and granola bars. 

— news release

Fleet Farm distributing free water in Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids Fleet Farm employees will be distributing a full semi-truck of water bottles to storm victims in need of fresh drinking water starting 9 a.m. Thursday until supply runs out. Where: Parking lot of Cedar Rapids Fleet Farm store, 4650 Cross Pointe Blvd., Cedar Rapids.

— news release

City broadcasting updates daily on local radio

City information will be broadcast daily on Z102.9 at 7:30 a.m. and WMT 600 AM at 7:10 a.m. and rebroadcast at 8:35 a.m.

Cedar Rapids curfew still in effect, transit suspended

A nightly curfew continues to be in place in Cedar Rapids from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., though it does not apply to people traveling to and from work. City transit service is also suspended indefinitely. 

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