Marion Mayor ‘Heartbroken’ Over Derecho Damage
As officials continue to address damage for the derecho that slammed Eastern Iowa last week, its clear that very few were left unscathed in Linn County. But in Marion, the toll on property is catastrophically high. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that over 90% of Marion homes and businesses have at least some storm damage.
Marion Mayor Nick AbouAssaly told the Gazette that when he sees the damage to the town he is "completely heartbroken." AbouAssaly said that the estimated cost of cleanup for the city is around $3 million. That doesn't include the cost that residents, like myself, will also have to deal with. The damage to city facilities alone is near $2 million.
Marion City Manager Lou Pluckhahn told the Gazette that the city has finished around 85% of the initial inspections of homes and businesses to get an inventory of buildings that have damage. He added that the city is transitioning from disaster response to recovery activities. The Gazette reports that the city of Marion has brought in Southern Disaster Co. from South Carolina to help with the removal of debris. Pluckhahn added that the National Guard is also helping out with their efforts in aiding Alliant Energy. The Iowa DOT has also sent in trucks to help with debris removal.
As a Marion native myself, I admit that the level of damage to our town is staggering. But so has been the level of community support. We've had volunteers walk down our street several times to make sure that we have everything we need. The city came by last night and already picked up our tree debris. The pile of branches was so high you couldn't see our house! Times like these test us all. I'm proud to say that the city of Marion is passing with flying colors.