Sergeant Tawny Schmidt Iowa National Guard
CEDAR RAPIDS – When the disaster struck on August 10, 2020, Iowa National Guard airmen and soldiers helped clean up eastern Iowa after a severe storm that caused widespread damage.
Airmen from the Iowa Air Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing Civil Engineering Squadron, based in Sioux City, joined the Army National Guard in Cedar Rapids to clear felled trees so the utility could reconnect power. .
Senior Master Sergeant. Dave Twohig, his ARW of the 185th, was working with a team of Air Force and Soldiers to restore power in Cedar’s Rapids.
“I’ve seen storm damage before, but never from miles away like this,” Twohig said at the time.
Security guards clear the streets, followed by private agencies to reconnect power to tens of thousands of customers.
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“There is debris everywhere. This is a really tough situation for people here,” Twohig added.
The destruction was due to a meteorological phenomenon called Derecho, which is characterized by geographically widespread damage caused by very strong winds. The hurricane’s strong winds flattened crops, uprooted trees, and caused structural damage to homes and businesses across southeastern Iowa.
Twohig said that as a longtime member of the Air Guard, he was happy to help fellow Iowans.
“This is what we are all about,” said Twohig. “Wherever we went, people were waving and honking. It was humbling.”
Airguard members were equipped with chainsaws and skid loaders. Twohig said the combination of resources and the Army’s heavy vehicles will allow his cleanup team to move quickly through the affected areas.