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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 2:19:00 PM to 9/13/2020 12:00:05 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: August 12, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Linn County Storm Response – Update #2

Tree and power lines down across road

Disaster Declaration

The Linn County Board of Supervisors today signed a resolution declaring a formal local state of disaster emergency in response to the widespread severe storm that impacted Linn County on August 10, 2020.

The resolution is a formal step that activates disaster response and recovery aspects of the Linn County comprehensive emergency plan and authorizes the Board of Supervisors to execute the expenditure of emergency funds from all available sources, invoke mutual aid agreements, and apply to the State of Iowa for assistance in the response to the storm damage. A local disaster emergency resolution is needed in the event expenses incurred during the response are reimbursable by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“This declaration is a formal recognition of the coordination that is taking place between government agencies and community partners in response to Monday’s severe storm that devastated large portions of Iowa, including Linn County,” Linn County Supervisor Chair Ben Rogers said. “This storm hit many of us hard when we were already fighting a global pandemic. I know it may seem overwhelming now, but we are already coming together to help our neighbors, and I know we will get through this disaster together as we have others before it.”

Secondary Road Clearing

Secondary Road Department crews continue to clear County roads of storm debris. Many roads were entirely or partially blocked from downed trees, utility lines, and signage resulting in approximately 40 miles of blocked secondary roads to date. The primary goal continues to be clearing roads for safety and access and to place road closures as resources allow. Do not drive around barricades. Barricades are placed for public safety. Please use extra caution while driving as debris, downed utility lines, and missing or damaged signage are still creating hazards on roadways.

Linn County road closures are posted at Please be aware that road status can change at any time and will be updated as soon as possible.

Residents are advised to avoid site-seeing and to allow emergency responders to take care of the most immediate needs.

Unincorporated Debris Removal and Burn Permits

Rural residents can dispose of tree debris at either Solid Waste Agency location, 1954 County Home Road, north of Marion, and 2250 A Street SW, Cedar Rapids.

According to the Solid Waste Agency, regular hours of operation are in effect at both locations. Yard waste is accepted for $24.00 per ton, with a $5.00 minimum. Fees remain in place because operational costs to handle the material are the same. Retain all your receipts in case you can submit them for reimbursement via insurance or a disaster relief program.

Open Burning

The Board of Supervisors, in partnership with Linn County Public Health, today deferred burn permit requirements in unincorporated Linn County through September 30, 2020. This action allows the open burning of storm related landscape waste, including trees and tree trimmings in unincorporated Linn County outside of the city limits of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha until September 30, 2020. This includes all properties within the ½ mile buffer zone around these cities. No open burning permits are required during the enforcement discretion period. Demolition waste from damaged structures must be separated from the landscape waste and sent to an approved landfill for proper disposal.  

The following conditions must be followed to help limit adverse air quality impacts and reduce risk to surrounding property.

  • Burning is to be conducted during daylight hours only (1/2 hour after sunrise until ½ hour before sunset).
  • Fires must be attended at all times during the burning.
  • Burning shall not be conducted when wind speeds exceed 15 mph.
  • Maximize the separation distance from the fire to any structure or combustible materials.
  • Have a plan for fire extinguishment, such as a garden hose connected to a water outlet that is long enough to reach the fire.

Linn County Public Health reminds the public that it is illegal to burn waste, including storm debris, within the city limits of Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha. Please contact your city hall for additional information regarding local open burning ordinances.

County Department Phone Service

The service provider for Linn County department telephones is experiencing an outage that affects inbound and outbound external calls for the County. With most County offices open by appointment only due to COVID-19, the best way to contact a County department is by email when available. A directory of all Linn County departments can be found at

Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Visit our Storm Response webpage for more...
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