It has been a hard and dangerous few weeks, and if you need more proof, just ask the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. A spokesperson for the department tells KCRG they are seeing an increase in calls by 4 times the normal number since derecho.

We might not be surprised, as people have lacked power and some even remain homeless due to damage to their dwellings that could take months to fix. In total, the CRFD says it has responded to some 2,071 calls since August 10, the day of the devastating storm. Under normal circumstances in that period, it's around 559.

What specific types of calls have contributed to this increase in the period spanning 12:30 p.m., August 10 to 5 p.m. August 26? A CRFD graphic on Facebook notes 336 gas leak-related calls, 307 outdoor fire calls, 226 fire alarm calls. A somewhat surprisingly low number is the electrical accident-related calls at 148.

Other calls have included falls/injuries (104), structure fires (85) and traumatic injuries/hemorrhages (37)

The long road ahead to recovery continues for many. Some still report their internet being out but it appears nearly everyone has power back. The City of Cedar Rapids begins a storm debris pickup program this week. Learn here what items you can leave out for pickup and disposal by the city.

I know I speak for everyone in thanking our city crews and those who have come from out of town and even out of state to protect us, serve us, get our utilities, and power back up as fast as possible. The firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and first responders whose work was already compounded by the pandemic, now keeping the derecho- devastated communities as safe as possible on top of it. Thank you.

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