CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Nearly 200 Soldiers and Airmen have been mobilized to eastern Iowa to help emergency management crews clear and remove debris from the devastating Aug. 10 derecho.
Since beginning operations, 135 truckloads of debris have been removed, totaling nearly 2.25 million pounds. A dozen military crews have cleared roughly 68 city blocks.
Soldiers and Airmen are working closely with local authorities to clear debris from powerlines and roadways to help restore electricity to affected areas. The Iowa National Guard’s efforts have been focused in Linn County, one of the most heavily impacted areas in the state.
The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, 734th Regional Support Group and the 185th Air Refueling Wing deployed about 30 dump trucks and excavators, backhoes, skid loaders and chain saws to the Cedar Rapids area Aug. 14.
The Iowa National Guard continues to hear stories of how local Iowans, in particular veterans, have been impacted by the derecho. Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen, like many other Iowans, have been greatly impacted by this storm as well. The Iowa National Guard remains ready to mobilize additional assets to areas that may need more support.
To request support, Iowans are encouraged to reach out to their respective local emergency management coordinators. EMCs are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and the Iowa National Guard to coordinate aid.
The Iowa National Guard also continues to support the state’s COVID-19 response efforts. There are about 200 Soldiers and Airmen on duty to support Test Iowa sites and assist with contact tracing.