Today marks one year since the derecho.
It was just before noon on Monday, August 10th, when hurricane-force winds beared down on Cedar Rapids and southern Linn and Jones counties – causing widespread destruction that we’ve never seen before here in Iowa.
Raymond Siddell says it feels like it just happened yesterday.
Siddell says he wanted to start the Iowa Storm Resource Facebook page to help people in the recovery efforts – never expecting that 60,000 people would become members of the page, looking for help and wanting to help too.
While most of us would have imagined that the debris and repairs were taken care of within a few weeks or even a few months after the derecho, Siddell says that wasn’t the case.
The Iowa Storm Resource Facebook page has turned into an official non-profit organization called Together We Achieve, with Siddell serving as the founder and president. He says one year later, they’re still working to help people recover from the storm.
More recently, they’re dealing with the long-term effects of the derecho – the mental, emotional and financial needs of residents and storm victims.
Together We Achieve held a free community festival this past Saturday to commemorate the one year anniversary of the derecho. The event at Greene Square Park in Marion featured live music, games and food, as well as resources to help those still in need. Siddell says it was a time to celebrate how they came together as a community this past year.