So it's a complete mess in Eastern Iowa right now after a derecho ripped through on Monday. I didn't even know what a derecho was until recently but a better way to put what happened in Cedar Rapids on Monday is that hurricane winds tore up almost EVERYTHING in its path. We're talking heavy rain and 100+ mph winds for 30 minutes. Not to mention there was about a 15 minute warning that it was even happening and then, judging from the images that have since come out, all hell broke loose. Everyone was caught off guard and rightfully so. I grew up and lived in Cedar Rapids for 27 years and never saw anything remotely like this.
Here's just a handful of the pictures and videos
The pictures and videos of the devastation go on and on and on. Seriously they're endless. Just go on Twitter and type in 'Cedar Rapids' or 'Eastern Iowa' into the search bar and you'll see how crazy it was. Long story short it's REALLY REALLY bad. After pummeling eastern Iowa it moved onto Chicago but the majority of the damage took place in Iowa.
I've been texting with my family here and there (they're all safe, thankfully) but it hasn't been easy because cell service was knocked out for awhile and still is for certain parts of Eastern Iowa. A bunch of trees around my parents house got ripped outta the ground and they didn't have electricity for 72 hours, my best friend's house had a tree land on top of it, my brother drove around afterwards and said the city looks like a war zone. And for whatever reason the whole thing hasn't been getting much national coverage whatsoever. As a guy who is from Cedar Rapids but now living in NYC it's been more difficult than I thought it'd be to find out exactly what's going on because there's almost zero national coverage of it.
I actually think I know why this particular event isn't getting as much national coverage, and I'm not kidding or trying to be funny, it's that nobody knows what a derecho is. People hear the word derecho and either a) have no idea what it is so they pay no attention to it or b) don't think it's nearly as serious as other extreme weather events like a FLOOD or a HURRICANE or a TORNADO or an EARTHQUAKE. I know that sounds like a stupid reason as to why what happened on Monday isn't getting as much attention but it is 1000% one of the reasons. The 2008 and 2016 floods in Cedar Rapids got TONS of national media coverage along with visits from the respective POTUS's at the time. Nobody knows what a derecho is so they don't care.
So let me put it as plainly as I possibly can, Eastern Iowa got hit by a hurricane. That's what happened on Monday evening. I don't know the dictionary definition of a hurricane but just look at the aftermath of what happened in Cedar Rapids. It looks like a fucking hurricane ripped through town so we're calling it a hurricane. Three people have reportedly died due to the horrific storm.
Also I've been talking to a couple people back home and the biggest problem right now is communication and coverage. Cell service is down in a lot of areas and so is electricity. Folks are having trouble dialing 911 if they're in trouble. Some people will be without electricity for a few more days to a week. Basically what they want people to know is that it happened, a derecho/hurricane/lots of rain and very powerful winds ripped through their town and people are really struggling. So that's what this blog is about, it's to let people know that something awful happened in Eastern Iowa because right now it seems like no one outside of Iowa even knows it happened.
Also here are some resources
Everybody try and stay safe.