Ottumwa storm recovery
It is the Monday after the storm that rumbled through southeast Iowa on Saturday afternoon and an estimated 1,500 residents in Ottumwa woke up Monday morning still without power.
Alliant Energy representatives said they have more crews from across the state coming in to help with tree trimming and power restoration.
They said that they are on schedule to restore power to the rest of the population by Monday evening, although the extreme heat may slow things down a bit.
â??I know one thing that we're trying to do is clear those branches that look like they're also going to fall because part of the issue has been they'll restore power to an area and a line or a branch that looks like its been damaged for a couple days -- the wind catches it because we have pretty gusty winds today and it falls and it'll take out a section they just did so they're coming through now and trying to remove all those potential hazards,â?? said Josh Stevens, Wapello County Emergency Management Coordinator.
For those that were still without air conditioning Monday, the Red Cross opened up a cooling shelter with cold water, snacks and of course air conditioning.
City officials said that fallen debris is the biggest problem they're having at the moment. And the city has opened up a free tree debris drop-off site at the old Alliant Energy building. And people are already taking advantage of it. Itâ??ll be open all week from 6 a.m. until 8 a.m.
Officials ask that you make sure that your load is secure on your vehicle when en route to the drop-off site.
â??Well weâ??re just trying to get rid of them -- helping out the neighbors and just trying to get rid of all the yard waste we got from last night. Quiet ahead of the storm and quiet after the storm but that wind there for 10 to 15 minutes was pretty wild,â?? said Chad Carlson, Ottumwa resident.
And yes that wind was wild! An icon in Ottumwa suffered a fall. If you are familiar with the cityâ??s history, then you know that Chief Wapello usually stands atop the Wapello County Courthouse.
However, strong winds from the storms on Saturday caused Chief Wapello to lose his footing and it caused quite the commotion in town.
The chief has been around since the courthouse was built in the late 1800â??s and the statue is truly one of a kind.
â??The statue itself is hand-hammered copper and in dong so they use such fine details in the ribs and the feathers are hammered out -- the buckskin evens the veins in Chief Wapello's hand are. So they hammered those out in the copper so the historic significance makes it imperative that we in some way get it back up there,â?? said Jerry Parker, Wapello County Supervisor.
Parker said the last time he can find that Chief Wapello was off his perch was in 1950 when the clock tower was removed because of structural damage. The statue was redone at that time, as well.
Folks should not worry because Parker said that â??Chief Wapello will prevail,â?? and hopefully will be on top of the Wapello County Courthouse again soon.