WATERLOO — More than 14,000 households were without power in Waterloo at the height of the thunderstorms Monday night.
Approximately 14,500 households in the Waterloo metro area did not have power as of 9:45 p.m. Monday, according to Tina Hoffman, vice president of corporate communications with MidAmerican Energy.
MidAmerican Energy was reporting more than 600 customers were without power as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. That number was down to 240 households by 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the remainder expected to regain power by 6 p.m. Tuesday, Hoffman said.
Weather officials said 1.56 inches of rain fell Monday. The total for Tuesday was not yet available.
“A couple locations just had more damage that are taking us a little bit longer to repair,” she said. She wasn’t exactly sure what those remaining locations were.
Another 315 households in eastern Butler County and 92 in Bremer County had their power knocked out as of 8:30 p.m. Monday, but Hoffman said all of those customers had gotten power restored.
The causes were varied, but all were caused by the destructive wind and lightning accompanying the thunderstorms that barreled through Iowa on Monday evening.
“Especially when there are multiple storm systems, it’s not uncommon,” Hoffman said of the sheer number of customers that experienced power outages. “It may take longer in a couple areas to get switched over. Obviously, our focus is getting as many people on as quickly as possible, but doing so safely.”
Storms Monday night also knocked out power in areas and downed large tree limbs. Evansdale fire authorities said Monday night they were investigating multiple trees down, power outages, and damage throughout the city.
In Waterloo, the storms kept Waterloo firefighters busy, mostly with fallen tree limbs that brought down power lines.
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Waterloo Fire Rescue handled close to 40 calls during the 24-hour shift, mostly storm related, said Battalion Chief Troy Luck.
Waterloo Forestry Department crews worked overnight clearing downed trees and limbs from public streets and returned after breakfast Tuesday to finish the job.
“We had some significant damage just to the city trees,” said City Forester Todd Derifield. “It was pretty widespread. South Hills had a lot of damage. Maywood was hit pretty hard.”
South Hills Golf Course reportedly lost about 20 trees in the storm.
Derifield said the immediate concern was reopening streets and dealing with safety issues. But forestry crews will be working long-term to return and remove trees on public property that may have been structurally damaged by the high winds.
The Cedar Falls Public Safety Department had 13 calls about the storm last night about fallen trees and branches on roads, said Public Safety Director Jeff Olson. Two power lines went down on Harris Street and West Seerley Boulevard.
Around 8:30 p.m. a branch tore the line to a home on Bauch Street, igniting insulation and filling the basement with smoke, Luck said.
The storms are not done. According to the National Weather Service, the Waterloo area is under a hazardous weather outlook throughout most of the day.
The storm Tuesday was fast-moving and had the potential of strong wind gusts.