CLINTON — Day 4 after Monday’s windstorm found many Clinton residents still without power. Many streets remained blocked by downed trees and power lines.
Finding help for storm-related needs is as easy as calling 211, Clinton Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness said Thursday. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the number will direct callers to local agencies that can help them with specific problems caused by the storm.
Residents can also receive help at Clinton Park across from the Clinton Fire Department on Third Avenue South. “We have the mobile resource center down by Clinton Fire,” said Kness.
“We do not have a shelter open right now. We will address those needs as people come in,” said Kness. “With COVID, sheltering people is a little different than in a regular year.”
The resource center will be open in the park again Saturday, Aug. 15 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can plug in to recharge phones or to use medical equipment that requires power.
Businesses donated ice to the resource center for distribution to residents who drive up for it. The services and ice are free to anyone, said Nicole Rowan Gonner of MercyOne Clinton.
Emergency workers have used social media such as Facebook to let residents know the mobile center is available, said Gonner. About a dozen people had requested help at the mobile center by 10 a.m. Thursday, she said.
The first night after Monday’s storm, a couple of hundred residents required help, Gonner said. MercyOne delivered oxygen to residents who needed it. Home care workers called their clients to see what they needed, Gonner said. Local hospitals and the fire department refilled oxygen bottles.
Residents can fill out forms for disaster assistance at the mobile resource center, said Gonner. Applicants must meet income guidelines to qualify for disaster aid, she said.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation Tuesday that allows state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the effects of Monday’s storm. Cedar, Clinton, Muscatine and Scott County residents affected by the severe weather may be eligible to apply for individual grant assistance to cover losses experienced, Community Action of Eastern Iowa said Wednesday.
To qualify, households must be located within the disaster declaration area and must meet income guidelines.
The program provides grants up to $5,000 per household to cover home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food and for the expense of temporary housing, if applicable.
Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery.
Households must have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guideline. Eligibility for the program is based upon federally established income guidelines.
Affected residents who may benefit from this assistance should apply through Community Action of Eastern Iowa at caeiowa.org/disaster. Those without internet access may call 563-324-3236.
Applications will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, or until all funding provided for this program has been expended.
Disaster Case Management services are also offered to all households affected by the severe weather, regardless of income.
Alliant Energy and ITC Midwest are working as quickly as they safely can to restore electric services throughout Iowa, the companies said Thursday in a press release. The utility companies called the damage devastating and called restoration efforts unprecedented.
Monday’s derecho — a widespread, long-lived windstorm that typically includes bow echos, squall lines or quasi-linear convective systems — left much of the Midwest without power.
ITC Midwest has estimated that, across its entire service area, more than 1,200 miles of lines were impacted in some way, from mild damage to miles of transmission structures broken and lying on the ground.
To respond, ITC Midwest has mobilized more than 500 field utility workers to repair and rebuild the transmission system, the press release said. The company is working closely with Alliant Energy and other distribution utilities to prioritize the needed transmission lines and substations to be re-energized.
Alliant Energy employees from across Iowa and Wisconsin and crews from throughout the country are repairing and replacing power lines and poles, substations and other equipment. (Substations step down high voltage electricity from the transmission system to a lower voltage so power can be supplied to homes and businesses through local distribution lines.)