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AMES, Iowa — Power trucks continue to work across a swath of Iowa where a powerful derecho storm hit last Monday. Communities are seeing power come back on. In Ames, there are still around 500 customers with no electricity.

Those who have had power return, are of course thankful. That includes at my house in Ames where the power returned at 1:17 Sunday afternoon. I had returned home to find a giant boom truck in my back yard. The crew had removed part of my yard fence to get the truck behind my house.

“It works better we had to take down your fence to get in the backyard if we couldn’t we have to do it on hooks and hooks just takes so much longer,” said Dale Dornbier Algona Municipal Utilities. “So it’s a lot more efficient if we can get a truck to it.”

Donrbier joined his crew in Ames on Sunday to relieve some other Algona co-workers, and give them a break.

“I think they’re kind of getting a little wore out,” said Dornbier. “So we’re kind of rotating some guys in, so they can go home, and do laundry and relax a little bit.”

Also in my neighborhood, a giant truck from Cedar Falls Utilities was replacing a damaged power pole behind a neighbor’s house.

In Ames, the crews working to bring power back to the area met at the Alliant Energy Shop, in West Ames, and at Hilton Coliseum where dozens of trucks covered for a meeting late Sunday. One power company representative said the meetings concentrate on safety issues. They don’t want workers to hurry in a manner which would cause a safety issue.

The crews were getting fed, breakfast, lunch and dinner by the West Ames HyVee.

“And we’re gonna have to make a difference here,” said Kels Morrissey, the Store Manager at the West Ames HyVee. “So we contacted Alliant Energy and he said what do you guys need and they instantly said water Gatorade and meals.”

Morrissey is a native of the Ames area and said he was grateful for all the line crew workers were doing.

“So I was actually sitting there this morning as we were serving those folks, and I’m telling them than you to every single one of them, and I got to thinking, there’s no way I’m the only person who wants to express my gratitude,” said Morrissey. “Who is more in contact with the gentlemen and ladies right now, than HyVee, serving the meals, so why not start a thank you card donation box at the West Ames HyVee.”

So that began on Sunday, already there is a box full of notes for the workers. Notes can be dropped at the West Ames HyVee.

At my house I got to thank the crew in person.

“No problem, it’s all part of it,” said said Dornbier.

He and his crew put my fence back like it was, and headed down the road to help the next neighborhood after our line was energized, at 1:17 p.m.