Sometimes, not having power can lead to a lot of extra chores.
"I cleared out my refrigerator this morning and took everything out to the dump," said Marshalltown resident Harry Gray, who was still without power on Tuesday.
That made it 30 hours and counting, and he was not sure when it would be on. Gray said he chose not to call in, figuring it would not make much of a difference anyway.
"I see it heading my way, and there's no reason to get in a hurry," he said. "The electric crews are doing what they can and they are working under tough conditions, with it raining off and on."
Alliant Energy still had approximately 11,400 customers off the grid in Marshall County when Gray was outside washing down his truck after a muddy run to the dump late morning. That number varied throughout the day, according to Alliant Energy Spokesman Scott Drzycimski. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were approximately 10,000 in Marshall County still without power. Another 1,500 customers in Tama County were still down as well.
Gray did not offer a value as to what the food he had to throw out would cost, but he said, everything considered, it wasn't too bad.
T-R PHOTO BY TAMMY R. LAWSON Scenarios, such as this along South Third Avenue, have been encountered as crews are working to repair severed electrical lines and broken utility poles in order to restore power throughout Marshalltown.
Generators could be heard humming from nearby neighbors. Gray didn't have one.
"But I'm going to get one," he said.
Still, despite the problems, Gray said he really doesn't have a great deal to complain about. The air conditioning had lasted quite a while before the house started to get too warm, and then he and his wife opened windows Monday night.
Safety/ Insurance Tips
Ask how long power may be off.
Keep freezer closed.
Consider moving food to a locker, if possible.
Use dry ice, if available.
Do not refreeze meat that has thawed completely.
Do not refreeze foods already cooked or prepared.
It is safe to refreeze foods still containing ice crystals and thawed fruit.
Document all damage before making immediate repairs.
Take photos of damage as you found it.
Keep receipts and notes of all costs during the storm.
Contact insurance company as soon as possible.
"When I was a kid growing up on the farm, we would come in at the end of the day and we didn't have air conditioning," he said. "I know a lot of people today don't have that experience, but we made it through."
Gray said one positive thing has been his deep freezer, which has kept his frozen foods in good shape despite the lack of power.
In the smaller communities, problems persisted as well.
"It's still really busy," said Kim Elder, director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency. "There are still a lot without power but some coming on every minute or so so I believe it is all going well considering."
In Marshall County, Elder said that Green Mountain was hit the hardest with power outages of all the small towns.
The city of Marshalltown also announced the Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center is not operating until power is restored. Even then, it will likely take 24 hours before the pool is ready for swimmers.