As another winter storm looms, Iowa National Guard members are heading into parts of the state hit hardest by last weekend’s ice storm. Many elderly residents in remote areas are still without power. Iowa Guard spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Greg Hapgood says in Tama County alone, 40 soldiers are deployed to conduct door-to-door welfare checks.
Hapgood says "It’s our hope that when they see these soldiers coming, that they will understand that we’re there to help them in any way possible and that if they don’t have power, our suggestion that they find shelter and someplace warm goes to heart for them and hopefully heed some advice."
At last count, 85-thousand Iowans were still without power after last weekend’s storm, down from a peak of 265-thousand on Sunday. Hapgood says Tama County is just a starting point for the Guard. Hapgood says "To divide up the county grid by grid and go house to house in rural areas to see if anybody’s home, if they have power, to see if they have any needs, and if they don’t have power to kindly suggest they go to a shelter."
Hapgood says guard deployment to other rural areas will come through cooperation with local county Emergency Management agencies and Iowa Homeland Security.