As someone with family and friends in Cedar Rapids, I’d like to extend my appreciation to the local journalists that have been working so hard to get information out in the wake of last week’s derecho.
My parents called the afternoon of August 10 to tell me a severe storm was passing through and to assure me they were safe. The call itself indicated how dire things were, since Iowa has lots of thunderstorms and I never get phoned about them. Having lived in so-called ‘flyover states’ my entire life, I knew this unfortunately wasn’t likely to be a focus for national news outlets. The Gazette, KCRG, and IPR were the sources I turned to — both immediately and in the aftermath, since my parents were left without power or decent cell service for a week — and you didn’t disappoint.
I’ve certainly felt a sense of helplessness looking through images of my neighborhood, my high school, and the rest of the city torn apart. I’m sure I still don’t even fully understand the magnitude of what happened. But the dedication of Lyz Lenz, Beth Malicki, and many others to keeping us apprised of what is going on and how we can help — all while coping with major disruptions to your own lives, and personally aiding those in the most need — has been remarkable and inspiring; thank you. This is why local news matters.