August 10th, 2020. Say that date to anyone in Eastern Iowa and they'll more than likely be able to tell you where they were at, and what they were doing when the storm of all storms hit. That was the year we all learned the term derecho. I grew up in this part of the state and I've been through my share of thunderstorms. I've even lived through a tornado. But what hit this state two years ago today was unlike anything most of us have ever seen.

So were the cities we lived in. The Cedar Rapids/Marion area lost over half of its tree canopy. The street I live on used to enjoy the comfort of the shade. Now the sun beats down everywhere, and on everything. But as bad as things were Iowans again proved that when the chips are down, we rally around each other. Neighbors helping to cut down trees, and remove limbs and debris. Organizations providing meals and supplies to people who had lost everything. Strangers traveling from other states to simply lend a helping hand.

Ryan Brainard
Ryan Brainard

And despite it all, life moved on. The above picture is from August 26th of 2020. Chase and Carly celebrating a birthday with fallen trees everywhere, and a house that had a hole in it. It was a reminder about the things that mattered. A reminder about what wasn't lost. Eventually, the hole was patched and a  new roof emerged. Walls were rebuilt and new carpet laid. But not all the scars are gone. My girls cried for months anytime they heard thunder. They were afraid it was happening again.

Two years later, many of the visible signs of the derecho are gone. But none of us will ever forget the sights and sounds of that August day.

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