City leaders in Keokuk are encouraging residents who have the ability and resources to clean up their own properties following Tuesday night's storm to do so. That is because it could be several weeks before the city can get involved.
City Administrator Cole O’Donnell said Keokuk has spent the past month-and-a-half removing debris following a storm that hit the city on July 19. He said the process was nearly complete when this week’s storm rolled through.
O’Donnell does not believe the city can spare the workers to help with the clean-up right now.
“For the next couple weeks, we are going concentrate on what the street crews have to do to complete some projects (before winter),” said O’Donnell. “And then we will evaluate the situation and we might possibly have a collection again at the end of September.”
The most noticeable damage in Keokuk was in the 1300 block of Main Street.
A vacant building lost its front wall and part of its roof while a gas station across the street had several windows destroyed during the storm.
Several homes were severely damaged by falling trees and limbs as well as a car wash near 18th and Main Streets.
Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna said Keokuk suffered the brunt of the damage Tuesday night. At its peak, more than 3,000 customers were without power, with several hundred left in the dark for about 24 hours.
Cirinna said he received reports of limbs and trees coming down and power outages throughout the county, but nothing to the extent of Keokuk.
The city applied for a federal disaster declaration following the July 19 storm in the hopes of receiving funding to reimburse recovery efforts. It’s unclear if the declaration will be granted, or if the city sustained enough damage this week to make a second declaration.