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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

SERVPRO of Denver West Responds to Eastern Iowa Derecho

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

On August 10, a powerful inland storm--also known as a derecho--blew through Eastern Iowa, bringing with it 140 mph winds that are typically only seen in hurricanes. The storm ravaged 10 million acres of local corn crops and tore apart structures in popular Iowa communities like Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Marshalltown. 

In Cedar Rapids alone, more than 800 businesses, homes, and apartment buildings had partial roof collapses, with uprooted trees strewn across yards and roads. The derecho’s powerful winds also tore off siding and brought down power lines, leading to nearly 600,000 Iowans without power. 

While Iowa is no stranger to these storms, this particularly powerful and destructive derecho came with little warning. A key difference between derechos and hurricanes is that hurricanes form over the ocean and are typically tracked days in advance before making landfall. Derechos, however, are much more difficult to predict; less than an hour after thunderstorm warnings were issued, the storm hit, giving residents little to no time to prepare for the destruction it would bring. 

The sum total of the damage caused by this storm is yet to be determined, but it’s highly probable to be in the billions of dollars. One facet of derechos makes them particularly destructive: once they’ve destroyed roofs, they leave the affected structures extremely vulnerable to torrential rains that almost always accompany these types of storms. Home and business owners unlucky enough to have experienced this will likely be devastated to learn of flood and water damage in addition to structural damage. For those lucky enough to pull through the storm with no immediate damage, the possibility of flood water damage due to rising river waters becomes a hazard as well. 

SERVPRO’s mission has always been to provide relief to the fullest extent possible when natural destruction of this magnitude hits. Our disaster cleanup team is specially trained to deal with severe flood and storm damage as a result of severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

After the Iowa derecho ravaged Cedar Rapids and nearby areas, the SERVPRO of Denver West team went to the scene almost immediately to provide relief, performing inspections, debris cleanup, water removal / extraction and drying procedures. Our team will continue to provide assistance in Iowa as 30,000 residents remain without power, doing our part to help restore the countless properties destroyed by this event.

This storm hits especially close to home for SERVPRO of Denver West, as our founders once called Iowa their home, and have personally witnessed the destruction that’s been caused by increasingly violent weather patterns in the midwest. 

Despite these trying times, we at SERVPRO believe that challenges of this size and scope, while disheartening to face, ultimately build character and community. As a family-owned business, we understand the emotional weight that such an event can carry. As we continue to provide storm damage relief in Iowa, we hope to also instill compassion, understanding, and care in those affected, to lift that weight as much as possible.

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