It’s been a little over two weeks since a derecho storm came through Iowa. The Cedar Rapids/Marion area seems to have been dealt the worst of it with winds recorded up to 140 mph during the 45 minutes of destruction.

It at least feels good to be moving into the clean-up stage, although it was amazing to see neighbors getting out as soon as it was over to start the clean-up process. Most of us have electricity back (while there are still individual homes that await restoration), and more and more are getting internet service again! Somehow, it’s these things that have made me feel a little bit back in sync.

If you don’t live here, nothing really explains it. Photos aren’t enough…because it’s every block, every home, every business with some kind of damage. It’s reported that 50% of the tree cover is gone. Landscapes are forever changed.  Many people cannot stay in their damaged homes.

But we are progressing. And the real estate business carries on. In just 3-weeks, people who had been ready to list before the storm have things in order, and their homes will be on the market next week. People who are tired and ready to finally make that jump to a condo are moving forward. Jobs still change, making a home sale or purchase necessary. And I think there are lots of opportunities for investors. Properties where the owners just can’t or don’t want to rebuild. There is even more need for affordable housing for those currently without homes. Thankfully interest rates remain at or below 3% for many buyers.

Lastly, I just want to encourage each of you. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed for a lot of reasons. Don’t forget some self-love right now. Helping others can make us feel better, but we can also feel guilty, thinking we aren’t doing enough. Our community is in shock, grief and trauma. Give yourself a break. You may be the type to jump right in with the chainsaw.  God bless you!  But the need is long-term, so you can’t do it all. You may be the person that needs to take some time to process what’s happened. Grant yourself the time you need. You may be frozen. Reach out to others or look for resources to help.

This is an amazing community with resilient people.  I’m proud to call this place my home.