March 1, 2013
Scores of area residents remain without power as additional crews have been brought in by Central Missouri Electric Cooperative and Co-Mo Electric Cooperative to address the issues.
CMEC still had 500 households without power on Thursday. Manager Darren Eckhoff expressed hope that all co-op members would have electricity restored before morning, “but there are no guarantees.”
“We aren’t seeing much tree damage, and we probably don’t have 10 poles down. Our biggest problem is thick snow that collected on the lines overnight, 3 inches thick at least,” Eckhoff said in a news release. “In the daytime, it warmed up and the snow fell off the neutral line, which is closest to the ground. When this happens, it slaps up into the line above and either burns through or gets twisted together.”
Co-Mo had 7,712 members without electricity Thursday, down from high of almost 13,000 on Tuesday. Crews from 19 electric utilities are working on the Co-Mo system, which was the hardest hit in the state.
“We’re making some progress, and that’s encouraging to see. The extra crews are extremely appreciated and valuable in this effort,” Ken Johnson, the cooperative’s CEO and general manager, said in a news release.
Customer service representatives are staffing Co-Mo phones 24 hours a day, but the heavy volume of calls has made it difficult for many members to reach a representative. Customer Service Supervisor Jennifer Mercer said the outages are still being logged.
Pettis County Presiding Commissioner John Meehan said road crews are working 14 to 15 hours a day and hope to have all roads cleared by late Saturday evening.