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TODAY: Cedar Rapids updates; power restored in parts of downtown

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - Multiple Team 7 crews in Cedar Rapids and across eastern Iowa are covering the continued widespread damage from Monday's storm.

POWER OUTAGE:

As of noon Wednesday, there are around 329,000 outages across the state. More than 100,000 of those are in Linn County.

Crews have been working throughout the night to restore power.

As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, Alliant says they were able to energize downtown Cedar Rapids with the first transmission lines connected into the city by ITC.

Mayor Brad Hart confirmed with KWWL that city hall and some sections of downtown have been restored.

2 p.m. Wednesday update.After Monday's storm, power has now been restored for nearly 75,000 Alliant Energy customers,...

Posted by Alliant Energy on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Alliant Energy says it could take several days to restore the rest of the power in the Cedar Rapids area.

According to Cedar Rapids City Council Member Dale Todd, the biggest issue in getting power back up is that the lines that allow Alliant to use power from other communities are also damaged. This is preventing Alliant from being able to charge up their grid.

"If you think of a network like a pipe, major networks go in and out of that corridor area to carry our high-speed internet signals over fiber that goes off in all directions of the eastern half of Iowa," Mediacom's Phyllis Peters said.

You can find full power outage numbers here.

DAMAGE AND CLEANUP:

StormTrack 7 reporter Alaina Kwan says since Tuesday night, there have been a lot more street lamps lit in Cedar Rapids, but there's a curfew in effect for a reason.

One of those reasons is the dangers of spotting debris in the dark. Emergency responders are advising everyone to stay off the roads and let them and those trying to get essential services back up and running access to where they need to be.

However, there is a way for residents to help.

You can take a picture of any debris including branches, glass and powerlines, and share it with the city. If it can be done safely, remove the debris or push it to the side to clear the road for vehicles.

Public safety officials in Cedar Rapids believe 80% of homes have been damaged.

CEDAR RAPIDS GARBAGE UPDATES:

Cedar Rapids garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection is suspended on Wednesday, August 12 as crews work to remove debris from city streets.

The City says they plan to resume collection of GARBAGE ONLY on Thursday.

View the garbage schedule as well as information on how to dispose of spoiled food and where to place carts HERE.

  • Fill your gray GARBY cart with bags of spoiled food first and any extra bags of spoiled food or regular garbage can be set beside your cart.
  • Bags of spoiled food MUST be double- or triple-bagged and extra bags must be less than 40 lbs.
  • Extra garbage stickers are not required for bags filled with spoiled food but are required for bags filled with regular garbage.

“We recognize that many residents have extensive tree debris in their front yards,” said Steve Hershner, Utilities Director. “Every effort is being made by crews to get to properties and to pick up collection bins that are accessible, whether they are located in the driveway or in the street near a property.”

More details on garbage collection here.

LINN COUNTY DAY SHELTER LOCATIONS:

Day shelter locations and more specific debris removal instructions for Linn County areas can be found here.

OTHER CEDAR RAPIDS UPDATES:

  • The Cedar Rapids Transit service is suspended Wednesday.
  • City officials say tap water is safe to drink
  • If you see bubbling water in the street, call 319-286-5900 if you can
  • City crews will be working to remove hazardous trees and other debris to open roads.
  • Curfew still in place Wednesday night
  • City Council member Dale Todd says if a Tree is on your house, you will need a private contractor to remove it and then your insurance will contact the City's risk management department to pay.
  • Gas is in short supply as you need power to operate the pumps. KWWL will have more on this at 5 and 6.

9-1-1 UPDATE:

If you've been trying to call 9-1-1, you probably haven't gotten through.

The carrier for eastern Iowa says it's having problems and an estimated 85,000 Iowans are affected.

This is a high priority issue because it affects emergency services.

"If it doesn't go through, try and find a landline somewhere," Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said. "If you are able to get through, stay on the line with us because there's no guarantee that if we lose you that we've gotten all the information we need."

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