City Council hears estimates for storm repairs

James Heggen

The city of Ames suffered $400,000 worth of damage from the storm that hit the area a week and a half ago, said Bob Kindred, assistant city manager.

The Ames City Council heard an update from different departments about the repair and clean-up efforts after the storm ripped through Ames. The storm brought lightning, as much as 2.5 inches of rain and winds up to 70 mph. Peter Orazem, city councilman, tried to put into perspective the magnitude of the storm.

“Seventy-mile-an-hour winds, if it was swirling, is an F2 tornado, and we had that pretty much all around town,” he said.

John Joiner, director of public works, said his department has finished picking up the majority of debris in the “core” area of Ames, and now will be moving to other parts.

“Today we started moving into Campustown and the area immediately west of Campustown,” he said.

He said the department hopes to get the first “run through” of clean-up done by the end of next week. Then, around Aug. 9, the city will do one more “sweep” of the debris, and will grind up the trees.

The city is planning to grind up all the debris, and make the mulch available for citizens, as well as keep open the site for citizens who want to drop off more. Eventually they plan to close the site, but it will still be available for citizens to pick up mulch until Oct. 15.

Joiner estimated the cost to his department at about $250,000 from the storm. He added that because of the storm, the department has had to put off its other work, including street maintenance and patching.

Don Kom, director of electric service, said his department received 2,300 phone calls the morning after the storm hit from residents who were without power.

Kom praised his staff, who worked long days following the storm, including 3 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday.

“All of those crews would not stop working,” he said.

Kom said all the places they could fix had power back on by Tuesday. Fewer than 12 houses needed an electrician to do work. They are still working with some who still have damage, he said.