This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BOONE, Iowa — Not all heroes wear capes. Some, like line mechanics, wear yellow vests.

“They are very skilled in what they do. This is what they do,” said Tom Sailer, senior manager of customer operations for Alliant Energy. He said the tree damage reminded him of an EF-3 tornado. “In some areas, the damage certainly resembles that which I saw in Marshalltown a couple of years ago,” said Sailer.

Alliant Energy line mechanics sprang into action as hundreds of thousands of Iowans lost power in Monday’s derecho. “Long, long days and 16-hour shifts that demand all their skill and energy to work safely and efficiently,” Sailer said.

A four-man crew tackled a power outage in Boone but faced some difficulties as most crews throughout the state from the storm. Sailer said, “They are clearing a large tree limb out of the way so they can put some conductor back up.”

Many of the four crews assisting the Boone area were in their second 16-hour shift since the storm ended Monday around 11 a.m. “It was like a 30-minute hurricane and it blew hard. I don’t think we’ve seen the extent of this damage in my career,” said Sailer.

Watching from his backyard and without power for over 30 hours, Allen Tedrow wasn’t frustrated but fascinated. “They are doing a job you and I and most people don’t want to do because it is a very dangerous job.”

Tedrow’s home, along with the homes backing up to the alley at 2nd and Greene Street, had power after an hour and half of work Tuesday evening. Sailer said, “It can be some slow, painstaking work and we want to do it safely and don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

“Iowa nice” may be stretching energy companies thin across the state. Days before the storm, Alliant Energy gave the green light to independent contractors that usually assist in big storm events so they could help with Hurricane Isaias on the east coast. MidAmerican Energy posted to Facebook similar information just a few days before the storm. “They always rise to the occasion in these events in good weather and bad,” said Sailer.

Xcel Energy out of Minnesota is also assisting Alliant Energy to provide a wider coverage of help. Alliant crews from Mason City and Spirit Lake were also called in for help.