The Damage of the Derecho
On August 10th 2020, one of the biggest storms blew through central Iowa, devastating many towns in Iowa, including Grinnell, with a population of about 9,500.
They called it a Derecho.
What some are calling a “Land Hurricane” swept through and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses The damage was anywhere from missing a few shingles to full grown trees toppling over onto buildings and vehicles. Immediately after the storm had passed, with rain still coming down, the residents of Grinnell moved into action. Neighbors helped neighbors pick up items in their yard, moved small branches off of cars and out of the road, and checked in to make sure everyone was alright.
What they could not help with was the plethora of large trees blocking roads, and the power lines they took with them. It was a dangerous time to be out and about trying to scope the damage and help pick up. Grinnell College reported about $2 million in damages between trees and structures on campus, $1 million of that being the removal and recovery of trees that had fallen.
Grinnell College also offered one of their buildings for residents to get a hot meal, charge their electronics, and take a shower if needed. Over 300 people had filtered through in the first week after the storm. After about 5 days, power was returning to sections of Grinnell, as electric companies worked day and night with surrounding states sending help.
It’s been 40 days since that storm, and tree services still close off roads to clear the debris one block at a time. It could be months before the town is back to normal, or maybe even a year plus. One thing for certain, is no matter how long it takes, the residents of Iowa will be there for their neighbors.