Cedar Rapids  Tourism Office

Have you ever heard of a Derecho?

Neither had most Cedar Rapids residents.

On August 10, 2020, a rare, massive storm blew through the area, fundamentally changing the landscape of the city in a span of an hour.

The derecho—the equivalent of an inland hurricane—brought 110- to 140-mile-an-hour sustained mainline winds for nearly one hour. The massive storm cut a 40-mile-wide path across the state of Iowa, pummeling Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area while it swept through. When the storm lifted, every single resident in the city was without power, many of whom remained without power for a week.

While the storm was the third climate disaster to hit Cedar Rapids within the last dozen years—the 2008 flood delivered another massive blown to the infrastructure of our city—this time leaving some estimated $60 million in damages in its wake, the community once again pulled up their collective bootstraps and got to work. Trees were cleared. Power lines were rebuilt and reconnected. A staggering amount of debris was hauled off by the truck load. Some of the cleanup work continues today.

And while the landscape is forever changed—early estimates suggested that Cedar Rapids alone lost 65 percent of the tree canopy—the city is here to offer it’s best for residents and visitors alike. You’ll see new roofs on buildings and baby trees planted all over town, and you’ll see the doors of our hotels, restaurants, shops and cultural attractions open for business!

Learn more from the City of Cedar Rapids.

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