Just as students were returning back to campus for the Fall Semester, Northeastern Iowa was hit by a massive derecho on August 10. The entire city of Cedar Rapids sustained heavy damages from the storm estimated to be worth $4 billion which is to be covered by a federal relief package. Coe campus on the other hand suffered at least $1 million worth of building damages with at least some damage to 28 of its buildings. Likewise, Coe suffered an additional $1 million in roofing damages alone. Little did Kohawks imagine the magnitude of the storm as sirens and warnings went out ahead of the calamity.
“During the derecho I did not think it was going to be bad at first,” said Lacey Tierney (21’) who was just moving into her apartment as the storm hit. “I watched the storm out of my window for a little bit, but by the end I was sitting in my closet with all my stuff just in case all the windows broke. My mom was leaving Cedar Rapids and was stuck in her car in the road and I honestly thought she wasn’t going to make it. As terrifying as it was, I now have quite the move in story for Senior year.”
The storm knocked down power lines and buildings, and trees throughout the city of Cedar Rapids and it took weeks before power could be restored. In the aftermath of the storm, cell phone and internet connectivity were disrupted, and the network did not fully return until days after the derecho. A derecho is a straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. Crews have come in from around the country to restore power and clean up trees and debris.