State officials are warning Iowans this new storm could deliver an even bigger blow than the recent ice and snow storm that left thousands without power. Crews have been working since the weekend storm to get the power back on, but Lieutenant Governor Patti Judge says the state has not fully recovered as the storm hits.
Judge says "we are weakened" the utilities have put the repairs into place quickly to get the power back on, but she says it is "not the robust system" that was in place before the first storm, and that is part of their concern. Judge says this state is asking people to be prepared to seek shelter if things get bad.
Judge says,"We could see some very serious damage very quickly to our transmission again." Judge says Iowans are hardy people who withstand storms, but she says they want people to go to shelters if the electricity goes out again.
Governor Chet Culver says everyone should be prepared for the worst. Culver says, "We’re not trying to alarm people, but we are sharing this critically important information that will allow us to give warning to nearly three-million people in our state." Culver says the weakened electric system could be only the start of the problems with the new storm.
Culver says they’re not only worried about the temporary fix on the system, but Culver says the 39 counties that weren’t declared disaster areas could end up with the same problems as the others. Culver was asked what he’d say to people who don’t want to leave their homes.
Culver says: "This is a storm we haven’t seen in a long, long time. So, that’s the message that we have to say, that this is not a…typical winter storm." Culver says he’s seen the impact of the storm and these are "real life" situations. Culver and Judge urge people to find shelter at: www.iowahomelandsecurity.org , or by calling the Iowa Concerns Hotline at 800-447-1985. They say if you get into an emergency situation and need to find a shelter, call 9-1-1.