IOWA DERECHO 2020

A timeline of the derecho response in Iowa

When a devastating derecho surprised Eastern Iowa on Aug. 10, there was little time to prepare.

Government officials and nonprofits now are assessing how they reacted. The Gazette put together a timeline of responses for the week after the storm.

Monday, Aug. 10

• 11:48 a.m.: National Weather Service issues first thunderstorm warning for Linn, Johnson, Keokuk, Benton, Iowa and Washington counties.

• 12:30 p.m.: Derecho hits Cedar Rapids metro area with widespread straight line winds of 80 to 100 mph and gusts of up to 140 mph, downing trees and power lines and damaging buildings and cars.

• Late afternoon: Linn County Emergency Management asks state for end loaders, light trucks and trailers with portable lights for the City of Cedar Rapids, said Steve O’Konek, Linn County Emergency Management Agency coordinator.

• American Red Cross opens overnight shelterat Thomas Park in Marion.

Tuesday, Aug. 11

• Morning: State delivers end loaders, trucks and lights.

• Afternoon: Gov. Kim Reynolds visits Tama and Marion to see storm damage. Meets with local officials.

Reynolds issues emergency declaration for Linn County and 19 other counties.

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Wednesday, Aug. 12

Marion officials ask Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, to push for the Iowa National Guard to be deployed to Linn County, Mathis said. Mathis calls the governor’s office.

Thursday, Aug. 13

• Late afternoon: State announces National Guard will deploy to Cedar Rapids. Guard members start arriving that evening.

Friday, Aug. 14

National Guard engineers survey damage and determine mission will be helping with tree removal. Guard also sends Civil Support Team, which has communications, search-and-rescue and medical capabilities.

• Noon: Reynolds returns to Cedar Rapids for a noon news conference.

• Afternoon:Red Cross opens overnight shelter at Palo Community Center.

• Evening: Red Cross opens overnight shelter at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Sunday, Aug. 16

Noon: Cedar Rapids and various nonprofits, including the Zach Johnson Foundation, start twice daily meals at 11 distribution sites across Cedar Rapids and Hiawatha.

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• Afternoon: Reynolds asks for expedited Presidential Major Disaster Declaration seeking nearly $4 billion.

Monday, Aug. 17

• Morning: President Donald Trump approves part of the request, totaling about $45 million in 16 counties. He did not approve individual assistance, agricultural damage to buildings or private utility repair, the Associated Press reported.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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