October 20, 2021

On the Road with ACACommunities (A Closer Look) ImOn Communications – Derecho

In this video, ACA Connects officials discuss with ImOn Communications CEO Patrice Carroll the August, 2020 derecho, an inland hurricane which had a devastating impact on a large swath of Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, where ImOn is headquartered.

“The derecho was almost a generation-marking event for our community,” Carroll says.

The intensity of the derecho can’t be overstated. The area was hit by sustained winds from 120 mph to 150 mph that lasted about 35 minutes. The storm had an area of 75 square miles, large enough to engulf and hammer the entire Cedar Rapids area. Almost every ImOn customer lost service until power could be restored, a slow process. In the end, ImOn had to replace nearly 28 miles of coax/fiber network to be back in business.

ACA Connects was ready to assist. Carroll notes that one of her first calls for help and advice was to ACA Connects staff. They put her in touch with other ACA Connects Members that had been through hurricanes and had good ideas about how to get back to normal. “It made the world of difference to us being able to talk with other members …” Carroll says.