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Sheffield residents spend Monday cleaning up storm damage

Power outages from the storm forced West Fork to cancel classes and Sukup to adjust work schedules

Posted: Aug 27, 2018 8:26 PM

SHEFFIELD, Iowa - Chainsaws cutting up tree branches was a common sound in Sheffield Monday, as residents clean up after Sunday night's storms.

"I didn't expect it to be like this."

Morgan Meier is a senior at West Fork High School, which began classes last Thursday. But three days into the new school year, classes were cancelled because of a town-wide power outage. She didn't expect the outage to happen so early in the year.

"I woke up early this morning to go to the weight room, and I saw that we were delayed. And then awhile later, I got a text saying we're cancelled and I said, 'oh', because at my house it wasn't this bad.">

She and her fellow volleyball teammates, as well as the football, dance and cheer teams spent the day cleaning up trees downed by Sunday's storms, something Meier says can help bring the town together.

"i think it makes great team bonding time, and as a community, it makes us look good and helps us bring everyone together."

It wasn't just West Fork Schools and residents that were impacted by the power outage; Sukup Manufacturing's power also went out. Plant Manager Jon Swanson says that while many operations were suspended, some employees on the IT and sales side of things came in to work.

"Getting the trucking schedule back on track, and the production, we'll run some extra hours here and there to get everything made back up as we always do, we get through it, and keep things coming through the pipeline and keep loading trucks every day."

The company did have to adjust from their normal routine.

"We've got people in on the phones today calling some of the truckers they know were going to come, and try to get them cut off before they got here so they know and that."

Also affected by the power outage was the Sheffield Care Center.

If not handled correctly, power outages can prove to be deadly in nursing homes, especially when considering those who rely on oxygen. The Care Center has a fuel-powered backup generator that within three seconds after an outage, it will kick on and power the entire building.

Bonnie Hubka is the Provisional Administrator for the Care Center, and says that because the switch to a generator is so subtle, it may not look like anything has happened.

"A lot of them don't really seem to notice the difference, but the ones who do notice have said that we hope that power is restored, especially those in their homes who don't have a generator and need the power."

Power was fully restored to Sukup around 5:30 p.m. Monday, with all operations starting at normal times on Tuesday. Power was restored to the rest of town via a temporary substation, and about 20 crews are working throughout the area as of Monday evening.

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