No internet yesterday but I have it this morning so I wanted to update everyone while I do.
We still have no power but my brother said he should be getting his back today; he lives in a richer neighborhood than we do, so I guess that’s expected. I saw power company folks working in the poorer neighborhoods yesterday, which is really good—those folks are much less likely to have access to affordable groceries anyway, let alone a car to get somewhere else to get groceries or something charged, or a generator. Power company said over the weekend that they would have power back to 90% of Cedar Rapids by midnight on Tuesday. They updated that yesterday to say it might be more like Friday.
There are people still living in tents. some of these people were climate refugees to the United States who have been made climate refugees once again by this storm.
Many big box stores are open but the small businesses are struggling both because the roads can still make it very difficult to access their stores and because they might still be without power, internet, or even have damage to their buildings.
FEMA has estimated that 80 to 90% of all structures in Cedar Rapids have been damaged by this storm. That means homes, businesses, schools. Can you imagine? Compound that with the kids of 50% of our trees.
It has been slightly cooler here this week which has been a godsend to everyone. And the city workers are working their butts off trying to clean the streets. On Monday we had approximately 6000 dump trucks filled with tree debris heading out of the city. That is truly a drop in the bucket. Even major roads, the ones they clear first, still have lanes closed off due to trees being down everywhere.
For ways you can help, check out this page:
Lyz Lenz and Beth Malicki are great folks to follow on Twitter for info and even some levity.
As you can imagine, COVID makes all of this harder. shelters are still required to maintain social distancing and of course people don’t want to have to be too close to strangers if they don’t need to. So the places that normally would take people in situations like this are taking people but the number of folks they can help is reduced greatly.
Today, I tried to sign up at one of 11 locations where folks are volunteering to feed people who are hungry and/or displaced. even though each of those 11 sites needed a number of volunteers for both lunch and dinner, every single slot was filled for the next 9 days. I’m crying because I’m upset and worried about these literally poor folks. I’m also crying because I am just so proud of the way our community has pulled together in the face of a historic storm and an absolute lack of any leadership at any level of our government to take care of our city and one another.
Again, if you can help financially, please do so but, if you can’t, boosting the links above would be really helpful, too. Thanks, GT ♥️