Iowa State Senator Says The National Guard Has Been Called In
The devastating aftermath of Eastern Iowa's Derecho thunderstorm was quickly evident by mid afternoon Monday August 10. All anyone had to do was look outside. What we saw was shocking, we couldn't find the words to describe it, but that almost didn't matter.
We couldn't seem to use our words anyway - phone service was dead and internet connectivity was spotty at best. Social media was sluggish on updates, especially Facebook. Several TV and radio stations were knocked off the air, silenced by the storm.
100+ MPH winds wiped out huge swaths of Eastern Iowa's corn crops, snapping trees like toothpicks, tipping over semi trailer trucks like Matchbox toys. Miles of power lines and scores of utility poles were ripped up and out.
Our connected little world was blasted back into the Stone Age with one massive, intensive thunderstorm.
By nightfall Monday, police were telling residents to "make a plan" - it was evident the damage done by this widespread storm was going to take more than a little time to repair.
So why did it take three days before the National Guard was called in?
On Thursday evening Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis was the first to report on her Facebook page of the National Guard's imminent deployment.
Iowa's Governor and two U.S. Senators have not yet acknowledged the news about the National Guard, although Gov. Reynolds will hold a press conference Friday at noon in Cedar Rapids. Presumably the topic of the National Guard might come up.
Look, Iowa has a lot to be grateful for, especially with so many good people in every neighborhood stepping up to pitch in, as we began to clear away the wreckage of debris.
But to Liz Mathis and to whomever else helped get the deal done, thank you. This is one emergency big enough for the National Guard. No sense waiting any longer. We could use a little help.