Iowa’s Katrina

August 17, 2020

One good thing about climate change is how many cool youtube videos we’re going to have.

As for the people taking the videos, sucks to be them.

Iowa’s Republican Governor, Kim Reynolds, told Iowa Educators, Students and parents recently, that schools needed to re-open, or “face consequences”. But the Guv was a bit slow in responding to the devastating Derecho storm that battered Iowa last week.

Minnesota Public Radio:

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds pushed back Friday against criticism that she has been slow to respond to a wind storm that devastated the state, and promised more help soon for tens of thousands of residents struggling through their fifth day without electricity.

Reynolds said 100 members of the Iowa National Guard arrived in hard-hit Cedar Rapids on Friday to help clear tree debris that is blocking many downed power lines.

She said she has commitments from the state’s largest utilities that customers in Cedar Rapids and other areas should have their power restored by Tuesday, if not sooner. Many others, including those in the Des Moines area, should be back online this weekend, she said.

Satellite image shows crop damage across Iowa.

Reynolds, a Republican, said she would submit the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration Monday after completing mandatory damage assessments. She said President Trump has promised to act swiftly to provide federal resources once that’s approved.

The storm known as a derecho swept through Iowa on Monday with winds of more than 100 mph, downing trees and power lines, destroying a third or more of the state’s corn fields, and damaging homes and businesses. At least three people in Iowa and one in Indiana were killed.

Cedar Rapids, the state’s second-largest city, has been hardest hit, with officials calling the devastation more widespread than a historic 2008 flood that wiped out downtown neighborhoods.

Particularly blistering was a statement issued by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which represents workers at major Cedar Rapids food manufacturing factories and said its members were “living in a war zone.”

“Too many Iowans are suffering and it is not acceptable that they are living without electricity, many are unable to go work, downed trees block roads for families to get badly needed essential supplies,” said union President Stuart Appelbaum. “It’s horrific.”

Reynolds said she did take action, including by issuing a state disaster declaration that provides some grants to low-income residents. She toured the area and spoke with Trump on Tuesday and Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday during his campaign visit to Iowa.

“Everybody is doing the best they can,” Reynolds said at a news conference at a Cedar Rapids fire station.

Several residents said they were struggling to meet basic needs while already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Ella Shears, 53, said the storm flooded her kitchen and bathroom and knocked out her power. She said she had to throw out $200 worth of food that was spoiled and doesn’t know when her next meal will come.

Shears said she cannot charge her cellphone, leaving her no way to communicate. Her third-floor apartment is hot, so she sits outside in the shade from trees that have not been knocked down.

Shears said the Wendy’s restaurant where she is a cashier has been closed. She is running out of prescription drugs she takes for heart problems, and worries about how she’ll get them refilled.

“It’s just sad. I never thought I would see this,” she said. “It’s a struggle.”

Eric Fish, 33, said he has been unable to cook a hot meal, eating peanut butter sandwiches for the last three days. He said the only help he’s received was from a city worker who helped knock down a big tree branch outside his home.

“No power for almost a week. Massive debris like everybody else. No help. We’re losing every bit of our food,” he said Friday.

Storm-damaged grain bins

Washington Post:

On Monday evening, a violent, fast-moving thunderstorm complex known as derecho tore a 700-mile path from Nebraska to Indiana. Winds over 70 mph battered Chicago, and as of Thursday afternoon, more than 300,000 people were still without power in northern Illinois as well as Iowa, the state hardest hit.

The destructive storms laid siege to more than 10 million acres of Iowa’s corn and soybean crop, devastating farmers and capping off what has already been a difficult few years of farming for many.

Up to 43 percent of the state’s corn and soybean crop has suffered damage from the storms, a severe blow to a $10 billion industry that’s central to the Hawkeye State’s economy. The magnitude of the battered vegetation was even visible on the same weather satellites used to track Monday’s violent thunderstorms.

Steve Bowen, a meteorologist and head of catastrophe insight for the reinsurer Aon, said the damage toll to agriculture alone is likely to reach the billions of dollars.

2 Responses to “Iowa’s Katrina”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “Waddaya wanna do to adapt to that?”

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    “One good thing about climate change is how many cool youtube videos we’re going to have”. My favorite is the segment where first small branches, then progressively bigger ones break off until half a tree goes after them. Kind of a metaphorical preview of the increasing impacts of climate change as we continue to do too little.

    RWG asks “Waddaya wanna do to adapt to that?”. Simple answer—-keep your head up your ass and continue to vote for Republicans. Iowa governor is taking huge heat for doing little or nothing to get help for Iowans.

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