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Council Bluffs residents deal with storm aftermath

The West End of the city was hardest hit with lots of downed tree limbs.
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jul 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-13 19:39:03-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) - Mayor Matt Walsh is amazed at all the downed tree limbs throughout Council Bluffs, particularly the West End.

"They have the more mature trees," Walsh said. "Those trees are more susceptible, I think, to having limbs maybe that are a little weaker due to the age of the tree."

Some of the hardest hit include Dinnis Blank's house.

"I was sleeping when the tree hit the house. It woke me up, and seeing the 95 miles per hour of wind, raining real heavy, you couldn't see anything since it was 12:30 in the morning," Blank said.

Now there's a steady stream of people like Holly and Aaron Davis bringing in storm debris at the Council Bluffs Recycling Center.

"This was friends and neighbors we've been helping out, just cleaning up their yards and dropping it off right here," Aaron said.

It's their third day of pitching in and contributing.

"There is a lot of elderly people and a lot of people who don't have the means to take care of the stuff that is needed right now, so we just try to help out where we can," Holly said.

They've had about six loads they've picked up and are open to helping out more. So far, 1,700 people have stopped by the Recycling Center to drop off debris.

"People need to come together and learn to help each other out. It's good to help your neighbor. It's good to help the people that need it," Holly said.

It's Midwest kindness and resilience that are the contributing factors helping these residents bounce back.

"I lived here over 50 years. This is not the first time we had tree damage and stuff like that," Blank said. "It's a mess. It's just going to take time to get it fixed."

The Recycling Center is taking all the debris at no charge during normal business hours. Hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.