As recovery efforts continue from the weekend ice storm, state officials are putting the wheels in motion to prepare for more ice and snow forecasted for Wednesday. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division Administrator, David Miller, is urging people to seek out shelters in their area immediately.
Miller says they’re encouraging people to look for shelters now while the roads are good, so they can be out of harm’s way. Miller says if you’re staying in your home, be sure you’re prepared for anything with the new storm on the horizon.
Miller says if you’re gonna hunker down, revitalize your home winter kits and be sure you have the supplies you need. Miller says you should contact elderly neighbors who may be at risk. Miller says you can find shelter information by calling 9-1-1 or on-line at www.iowahomelandsecurity.org , or by contacting your County Emergency Management Agency.
A spokesman for Alliant Energy Company, Scott Smith, says the utility is tracking the storm, but the only thing it can do to prepare is to make sure it has people in place to deal with the damage. Smith says they try to place their crews in the areas where there might be some damage. Smith says they not only get crews in place, they try to make sure the crews are well stocked.
Smith says they try to load up the trucks with equipment and have the fueled and ready to go as quickly as possible. Smith says Alliant has around 700 line technicians in the field working to restore power to the 80,000 customers who are still without it. Some have come from as far away as Virginia.
Smith calls the damage caused by the last storm unprecedented for Alliant Energy. As much as three inches of ice formed on some power lines, and strong winds knocked over poles over stretches as long as 20 miles.
Governor Culver today urged state lawmakers to act on a bill he says could provide some assistance to storm victims. The Iowa House is considering creating a million dollar fund for what are called individual assistance grants to be doled out when the governor declares a disaster.
Indidivuals could use the grants for personal property, home repair, and temporary housing assistance. Governor Culver has declared 60 Iowa counties disaster areas.