Thousands Of Tons Of Storm Debris Cleaned Up In Cedar Rapids

The city of Cedar Rapids says nearly 22-thousand tons of debris from last week's derecho storm have been hauled off so far.

The public works department says many more tons still need to be cleared and thousands are still without power ten days after the storm.

The city also says it's re-engineered over 150 traffic signals and all traffic signals should be online by the end of the week.

Mayor Brad Hart on Wednesday thanked city staff who he says are working every minute of daylight 7-days a week on storm recovery efforts.

“Of course we’ll continue to advocate for more federal support for the city and individuals because we’ve had expenses no one could ever prepare for,” Hart says.

The Red Cross shelter at Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids remains open.

Alliant Energy says as of Thursday morning more than 21,000 customers statewide were without power and that includes more than 17,000 in Linn County.

Joel Schmidt, Vice President of Alliant Energy, said crews from across the country are working to get the job done. He says workers have replaced 3,000 poles and more than 1,000 miles of wire in addition to clearing tons of debris from power lines.

“We will not rest until all customers have power available,” Schmidt says. Jen Winter with the city’s public works department emphasizes it will be a long road in clearing debris.

As a reminder, the city is asking to place tree debris in piles in the right of way free of any other garbage or debris. There are no size limits but crews ask that limbs are cut down to a manageable size to help with debris removal.

151 of 191 of the city’s traffic signals are back on with the expectation all are back on by end of the week. City crews are replacing damaged street signs, focusing on main roads first and have already repaired or replaced more than 1,000 stop signs.

(Photo by KCRG-TV 9)

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