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Two Cedar Rapids locals thank derecho utility workers for tireless work

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Hundreds of thousands of Iowans were without power for days and even weeks following the derecho in August. A local insurance agent and realtor have decided to say thank you to the utility workers who brought light back to Cedar Rapids.

Ben Wiemerslage, a State Farm agent, says he knows what these workers go through, since his own father and brother are utility workers.

"They put their lives on hold, they do so much for other people that we just want to do something to recognize them and say thank you," Wiemerslage said. 

"Our community is so powerful when it works together locally," Mike Schulte, a realtor with Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty, said.

Together, Wiemerslage and Schulte created a two-minute video with several well-known locals to thank utility workers.

The duo also donated funds to The Map Room, a restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids, so utility workers can receive a free meal up to $25.

“We can also support these utility workers, do something nice for them but also get some money into the local economy,” Schulte said. 

Even five months after the storm, the endless hours utility workers spent bringing light back to the city, still makes an impact.

"That moment when the power finally came back on was an incredible thing that so many people talk about,” Schulte said. 

Utility workers can order from The Map Room curbside or dine in, identify themselves as an utility worker and Wiemerslage and Schulte will pay up to $25 of the bill.

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