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Surviving Derecho And The Road To Recovery

McCormick Photo.jpg
Courtesy of Brendan McCormick
Brendan McCormick, owner of McCormick Painting Services, took shelter in his shop's bathroom when the derecho storm hit Cedar Rapids. Everything, except the bathroom, was flattened by the strong winds. McCormick captured his experience on video and posted it to his YouTube channel.

Ben Kieffer checks in with several communities from across the state about recovery from the derecho.

Today's River to River begins with Joel Greer, mayor of Marshalltown. Greer's community was struck by a tornado in 2018, and was still recovering from that disaster when it was hit by the derecho.

Also joining the program, Bill Chizek of Heartland Co-Op in Luther where their eight-story grain elevators were reduced to ten feet.

Our focus then turns to Cedar Rapids, where you'll hear a terrifying firsthand account from a man who took shelter in the bathroom of his business and captured video as the storm flattened the building. All of the schools in Cedar Rapids, the state's second largest school district, were damaged in the storm. The damage comes just days before classes were set to resume. Kieffer checks in with Kennedy High School principal Jason Kline.

Later on, City of Newton public information officer Danielle Rogers shares the damage suffered by her town, including heavy damage to trees in the city's park system.


  • Joel Greer, mayor, Marshalltown
  • Bill Chizek, safety director, Heartland Co-Op in Luther
  • Brendan McCormick, owner, McCormick Painting Services in Cedar Rapids
  • Jason Kline, principal, Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids
  • Danielle Rogers, public information officer, City of Newton


Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River