5,000 remain without power
City and county officials held a final press conference at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Marshalltown Fire Department updating citizens on progress in the city following the tornado Thursday. Marshalltown’s mayor, fire chief, public works director along with the county auditor, emergency management director, Salvation Army captain and an Alliant Energy spokesperson were on hand with information for citizens on the severity of the event and where the city will go moving forward.
The National Weather Service has rated the tornado that ripped through Marshalltown an EF-3 with winds peaking at 144 miles per hour. In the city, 738 houses and businesses were affected by the tornado Marshall County Emergency Management Director Kim Elder said. Of those effected, 35 were destroyed, 367 received major damage and 477 have minor damage. The city has also been designated a disaster area by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
According to Justin Foss with Alliant Energy, there are 200 workers with the company in the area assisting the more than 10,000 customer affected by the tornado. Of those customers, 60 percent have had their power restored.
He said the company will now be moving into the hardest hit areas where progress will move at a slower pace due to the amount of debris and structural work that will need to be accomplished in order to get the power back up and running. For customers, if there is damage to the electrical system connected to the house, a licensed electrician must complete the work needed to reconnect with Alliant before the company can reinstate electricity.
For the 5,000 gas customers without service, Foss said Alliant is currently reintroducing gas to part of the system located on East Nevada Street and South 12th Avenue. He said the service is free to customers and officials will have identification.
Finally, he stressed to citizens to stay away from downed power lines and the debris adjacent to the area. Also, any lines that are down should not be cut by citizens.
Despite the destruction in Marshalltown, the city’s water is safe. Steve Yarkosky, director of water production for the facility said the water treatment plant hasn’t been impacted.
“We are not under a boil order because we don’t need to be on a boil order,” Yarkosky said. “Our water is safe.
Citizens who are seeking assistance are directed to the Hy-Vee parking lot at 802 S. Center St. where the American Red Cross and Salvation Army of Marshall County are currently set up. Meals will be served between 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until there is no longer a need and citizens can give their information for further assistance addressing the damage, as well. Those looking to volunteer their time for clean up efforts are also instructed to go to the Hy-Vee parking lot.
An update was given on the status of the courthouse. Marshall County Auditor/Recorder Nan Benson said the building received substantial water damage due to a broken water main. Professionals from Chicago are at the site completing restoration work to dry out of substantial amount of wood in the building, which is estimated to take two weeks.
All courts will be closed Monday and will be reopening Tuesday. The civil courts will be located in Story County. The criminal clerk of court will be stationed at the sheriff’s office, which includes the cashier. The treasurer will be at the department of transportation’s DOT2Go location in the parking lot of the driver’s license station. The board of supervisors will hold its regular meeting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday at the engineer’s office. The auditor’s office is currently evaluations a timeline on how long it will be closed.