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Mid-Missouri storms cut power, cause damage

Mid-Missouri storms cut power, cause damage

May 19th, 2017 by Bob Watson and Rebecca Martin in Local News

A billboard sits in the a lot adjacent to Linn Motel after severe storms struck in Linn and surrounding areas on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

Repair crews were in the field Friday, working to repair power outages caused by the storms that whipped through Mid-Missouri early Friday morning.

"The hardest hit areas were Osage and Gasconade counties," Three Rivers Electric's Mark Boyer told the News Tribune. "We started with about 1,800 members out of power this morning, and we are currently down to 1,178" as of 1:30 p.m.

Several hundred were still listed as without power at 6 p.m. Friday and, Boyer cautioned, "some of the outages may carry through the weekend."

Ameren Missouri reported nearly 52,000 customers without service throughout its territory, with most of those concentrated in the St. Louis area, early Friday afternoon.

By 6 p.m., that had been reduced to 39,000.

Storm damage extended past power outages, too. Strong winds downed trees and damaged buildings across Osage County, said Andrea Rice, the county's emergency management director.

"We've had pretty widespread damage — Freeburg all the way up to Linn, Westphalia," Rice said. "Multiple trees in roads, tree limbs on power lines, those types of things. A couple of homes and agricultural buildings were damaged. I don't think there was anything quite catastrophic that an insurance claim won't cover."

Just south of Osage County, Quaker Windows and Doors lost the partial framework that had been erected for a new building on its south campus in Maries County. Groundwork began on the new wood window plant about three months ago, and the storm damage likely will delay construction two to four weeks, said Roy Rutledge, director of human resources at Quaker.

"We'll have to take down all the steel that's been damaged and do some repairs on the concrete," Rutledge said. The Freeburg-based window and door manufacturing company hopes to complete the project by early to mid-October.

Quaker's existing facility was without power from about 4:30-9 a.m. Friday, which posed a problem for employees on the 6:30 a.m. shift. "Everybody showed up for work and we didn't have any power," Rutledge said. "At 8:30 we sent everybody home; by 9 we had power."

Osage County's Emergency Operations Center was collecting photos from residents Friday to report to the National Weather Service, which will determine whether damage resulted from straight-line winds or a tornado.

Much of Mid-Missouri — including Cole, Callaway, Osage, Maries, Boone, Miller and Moniteau counties — remained under a tornado watch through 10 p.m. Friday.

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EARLIER COVERAGE

Repair crews were in the field Friday, working to repair power outages generally caused by the storms that whipped through Mid-Missouri early Friday morning.

"The hardest hit areas were Osage and Gasconade counties," Three Rivers Electric's Mark Boyer told the News Tribune. "We started with about 1,800 members out of power this morning, and we are currently down to 1,178" as of 1:30 p.m.

In its service area, 742 customers still were without power Friday afternoon, and Gasconade County had 370 customers without power.

He said Maries County had 22 people waiting for electricity to be restored, and Miller County had five customers.

Boyer cautioned, "Some of the outages may carry through the weekend."

Ameren Missouri reported nearly 52,000 customers without service throughout its territory, with most of those concentrated in the St. Louis area.

In Mid-Missouri, the company's online outage map showed nearly 50 outages throughout the region — including two in the Shawn Drive area of northwestern Jefferson City and one customer on Missouri Boulevard.

Five customers were without service in the Versailles area; 47 in the Eldon area; 28 near Tuscumbia; two near St. Thomas; and 1,158 in the Belle, Freeburg, Rich Fountain and Linn areas.