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100 miles an hour

Inland hurricane blows through Solon and most of state

SOLON– Winds in excess of 100 miles an hour lashed the area Monday, Aug. 10, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction.
The inland hurricane, or derecho, struck Solon around 12:30 p.m., snapping trees across the community and leaving thousands without power.
One local fatality was reported by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.
Thomas Rowland, 63, of Solon, was biking on the Hoover Trail near Ely Road and Wright Brothers Blvd when the severe storm came through the area According to a release by the sheriff’s office, Rowland was struck by one of these trees felled by the storm. Ely Fire and Area Ambulance responded at approximately 2 p.m. Rowland sustained severe injuries that ultimately took his life at the scene, according to the sheriff’s office.
Johnson County and six others were declared disaster areas by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Locals said they’ve never seen anything like it.
Damage was widespread and extensive. Alliant Energy reported 200,000 of its customers were without power and it’s expected to be days and possibly a week until power might be restored.
“The storm created damage beyond what we’ve seen before and it could take several days before the majority of services are restored,” stated Terry Kouba, of Alliant Energy. “For some customers, especially those living in more rural areas, it could be longer. We’re asking for patience as our crews work around the clock. Their safety and the safety of our customers is our top priority.”
Cell service was limited starting in the evening.
City crews started almost immediately after the storm passed to clear streets.
Alliant will be calling in crews from other areas to help make repairs.
Power will first be restored to essential services and facilities critical to public health and safety such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems. Then, crews will be dispatched to repair lines that will return service to the largest number of customers in the least amount of time. Service to neighborhoods, industries and businesses are restored systematically, Cindy Tomlinson, an Alliant spokesperson said.
Currently, customers do not need to report outages.
“However, to report an emergency, to report damaged equipment or if you see downed lines, complete the online form at AlliantEnergy.com, download the MyAccount app from the app store or call 800-255-4268. Please do not touch or go near downed lines, they may be live and could cause serious injury,” Tomlinson said.
Customers with a downed electrical connection on their house will need to contract with an electrician to have the equipment fixed. The pole to the meter on customer homes is considered customer-owned. It can and should be fixed as you await power restoration as Alliant Energy cannot reconnect power to any damaged equipment due to safety concerns, Tomlinson said.