IOWA DERECHO 2020

Under 10,000 without power in Linn County on Friday night

Heading into the weekend, many remain in the dark.

A fallen section of a utility pole is seen tangled in power lines at Edgewood Forest mobile home park in Cedar Rapids on
A fallen section of a utility pole is seen tangled in power lines at Edgewood Forest mobile home park in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Under 10,000 of Alliant Energy’s Linn County customers were without power heading into Friday night.

As of 5 p.m., 9,850 Linn County customers were still in the dark, 11 days after a derecho storm swept through Eastern Iowa on Aug. 10.

Joel Schmidt, Alliant Energy vice president of business development said as of 2 p.m. on Friday, 91 percent of Linn County residents had power restored. 87.5 percent of Cedar Rapids customers had power back at that time as well he said during the Friday afternoon Cedar Rapids news conference.

“Some of these customers live in homes … or have businesses or farms, their property has sustained such severe damage it may be unsafe to restore power at this time,” Schmidt said.

According to a spreadsheet from the Iowa Utilities Board, Cedar Rapids is estimated to have full power restoration on Monday, potentially leaving thousands without power for another weekend.

During Friday morning’s Marion news conference, Schmidt announced Project Reconnect. The project is a partnership between Alliant and four nonprofits that plans to assist homeowners by repairing their exterior electrical systems at no cost, he said.

Alliant is partnering with United Way of East Central Iowa, HACAP, Mid-Iowa Community Action and Community Action of Eastern Iowa. More details are expected to be released early next week according to Alliant spokesman Mike Wagner.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.