DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials on Thursday attributed two more deaths to the powerful storm that struck Iowa earlier in the week.
A 42-year-old woman sitting on her porch in Malcom on Monday was struck by a large tree blown over as the storm moved through, Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel said.
A 41-year-old electrician who worked for the city of Brooklyn also died Monday when he was electrocuted by a power line he was reconnecting, Kriegel said.
The area about 55 miles east of Des Moines is still reeling from extensive power outages.
Officials in Cedar Rapids previously confirmed a bicyclist died after being hit by one of several large trees that fell on a bike path.
The rare storm known as a derecho hit Monday with 100 mph winds, devastating parts of the power grid, flattening valuable corn fields and damaging homes and farms buildings.
MidAmerican Energy reported about 77,000 Iowa customers were still without power Thursday afternoon with 38,000 of those in the Des Moines area. Alliant Energy reported more than 151,000 customers still without power and rural electric cooperatives said 20,000 customers still had no electricity.
“The storm was the equivalent of a 40-mile wide tornado that rolled over 100 miles of the state,” said Dusky Terry, president of ITC Midwest, which owns and operates some of the power lines damaged by the storm.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has declared 23 counties disaster areas, making them eligible for state aid.
Some cities, including Cedar Rapids and Davenport, have requested equipment such as large generators from the state, said Lucinda Parker, a spokeswoman for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Reynolds' spokesman Pat Garrett said the governor has asked the Iowa National Guard to work with county emergency managers to see how they can assist with storm recovery efforts.