Home News Friday News, August 14th

Friday News, August 14th


Weather Officials Say Monday’s Storm Did Not Produce Enough Rain To Reduce The Drought Status

(Ames) — The storm that passed through the state on Monday did not produce enough rain showers to reduce or eliminate the drought status for western and central Iowa. State Climatologist Justin Glisten says many parts of the state had received between a half inch, to an inch and a half of rain this week. Prior to Monday’s storm, much of west-central and central regions of
Iowa were listed as a D-3 category, or extreme drought-like conditions, with the drought monitor. During a drought series webinar on Thursday hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Glisten says much of the most affected regions hit hard from the strong wind storm from Monday, are still below normal for precipitation levels.

Dennis Todey, with the USDA Midwest Climate Hub, based in Ames, Iowa, says Iowa is an island with reference to having a drought. He says Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, northern Missouri and eastern Nebraska all show either average, or above average precipitation amounts from the last few weeks.

Todey says for west-central Iowa where the region is listed as a D-3 category, he says the area is as much as four inches short of having average moisture levels.




Local Utility Cooperatives Send Crews To Help Storm Victims

(Le Mars) — Local utility companies are assisting with the restoration of power to residents living in central and eastern Iowa. Electric service was lost to several thousands of Iowans due to Monday’s strong storm that swept across the state with winds measuring around 100 mph and damaging
power lines, poles, substations and other electrical equipment. Both North West Rural Electrical Cooperative and Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative or
NIPCO, have crews in eastern Iowa. Lyle Korver is the Executive Director with North West REC. North West REC serves Sioux, O’Brien, Plymouth, and Ida Counties. He says Monday’s storm did cause some minimal damage to North
West’s service area.

After restoring power to those affected by the storm within the North West REC service area, Korver says six employees were then sent with equipment and trucks and headed to eastern Iowa.

Korver says he has heard the East Central Electrical Cooperative still has several residents without power.

Angela Catton is the Manager of Member Relations and Development with NIPCO, based here at Le Mars. She says NIPCO sent four employees to assist.

Catton offers some statistics regarding the storm’s impact on another Iowa power generation and transmission utility facility.

Catton says the NIPCO crews are telling her the extent of damage is the worst they have ever witnessed.

The NIPCO official says estimates are that it could take several more days before full restoration of power is established.

(photos courtesy of NIPCO)




Vice President Pence Makes Campaign Stop In Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Vice President Mike Pence made three campaign stops in Iowa Thursday, starting with an early afternoon rally on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Pence said in his 40-minute speech that the president was committed to giving federal help to Iowans dealing with the aftermath of
Monday’s derecho. Pence mentioned the Trump Administration’s decision to approve E-15 for year-round use and he touted the new U-S-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. Pence spent a portion of the speech contrasting the Trump-Pence
ticket with Democrat Joe Biden and his newly-announced running mate Kamala Harris. Pence suggested Harris would seek to change federal dietary guidelines, in hopes of reducing red meat consumption. Iowa Democrats like former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack criticized Pence for spending his time campaigning rather than touring areas damaged by Monday’s storm.




Board Of Regents Waives Entrance Exams For New Students

(Urbandale, IA) — The Board of Regents is waiving its requirement for students to submit either an A-C-T or S-A-T score in order to be admitted to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, or the University of Northern Iowa.
The temporary waiver applies for next year’s freshman class. Board President Michael Richards says in a statement “In this unprecedented time, we want to ensure that all students have the best opportunity to pursue higher education.” The Board of Regents is offering on-campus A-C-T tests for Iowans graduating high school in either 2020 or 2021. Those test scores are
valid only at the three state schools.




Derecho Damage Impacts Entire City Of Cedar Rapids

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Cedar Rapids city leaders spoke publicly for the first time Thursday since the derecho slammed the eastern Iowa town. City Manager Jeff Pomeranz says he was involved in the floods of 2008 and 2016 and Monday’s storm had a greater impact. Pomeranz says the 2008 flood impacted
approximately 14 square miles of the 75 square-mile city. The derecho impacted all 75 square miles. Pomeranz says they had to wait to hold a public news conference because 98 percent of the electricity was off. Some 78 percent of the city the electricity was still out on Thursday and Alliant Energy’s Mike Wagner says they think they can substantially restore electricity to most of Cedar Rapids in the next five to seven days. Governor Kim Reynolds is visiting Cedar Rapids today (Friday) and late Thursday said the National Guard is being sent there to help.




Storm Damage Causes 2 Iowa Post Offices To Move To Temporary Locations

(Toledo, IA) — The U-S Postal Service says storm damage from Monday’s derecho has forced two Iowa post offices to be temporarily moved. The Toledo Post Office operation has been moved to the Tama Post Office at 412 State Street, while the Olin Post Office operation has been moved to the Wyoming
Post Office at 101 East Main. All mail in the buildings at the time of the damage will be available at the new locations. Customers won’t be allowed to enter the damaged buildings.




Cedar Rapids Man Charged With First-Degree Murder In Fatal Beating Of His Mother

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Linn County prosecutors have charged a 49-year-old Cedar Rapids man with first-degree murder in his mother’s beating death.
George Alan Deason was arrested last month. Police say 71-year-old Elsie Mae Deason was found suffering critical injuries in her home by her daughter.
Investigators say the son attacked his mother to steal 50 dollars. Police say they think George Deason was carrying the weapon he used to attack her when he was arrested. Elsie Mae Deason died of her injuries July 23rd.