Parts of Cedar Rapids could be without power for up to a week


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- City officials in Cedar Rapids said today (Thursday) they expect the extensive damage caused by Monday's storms, to qualify for a federal disaster declaration and the White House has contacted Cedar Rapids already.

The storms caused a huge amount of power outages, and Alliant Energy says it could be 5-to-7 days before power is restored.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman says additional patrol officers are on duty throughout the city, to ensure the safety of residents, and a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. will continue until further notice. Chief Jerman says the curfew is designed to keep residents safe, they do not want residents out and about and and becoming at risk for power lines that could become re-energized. The City is asking those to stay home, unless it's a trip for essential supplies.

Many traffic signals in Linn County remain out, emergency management officials in Linn County nearly all signaled intersections were damaged during the storms.

The Cedar Rapids Public Works Department says there are hundreds of city, county, and state trucks and private contractors working together to address tree removal. Some areas, however, remain blocked because of downed trees and dangerous power lines. Crews are using all equipment, including snow plows to push away tree limbs to open streets.

United Way of East Central Iowa says a volunteer reception center is being set up at the Emergency Management Agency on Kirkwood Boulevard. Volunteers can sign up in person, 8-4:30 p.m. or on-line at www.uweci.org/volunteer now. Volunteers can also call 224-406-1366.

Linn County is part of a state disaster declaration. County emergency officials are asking Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to activate the Iowa National Guard to help recover. Reynolds will be in Cedar Rapids tomorrow (Friday).