TIPTON, Mo. - Linemen from around Missouri are making what is being called a "final push" to bring the remaining Co-Mo Electric Cooperative members without power back online today.
The more than 155 linemen from 20 electric utilities have restored more than 12,000 services since the Tuesday snowstorm devastated the Co-Mo system, breaking poles and crossarms and bringing down lines from Boonville to Warsaw and at all points in between.
Barry Hart - chief executive officer of Co-Mo's statewide organization, the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives - visited the cooperative Friday and called the damage here the worst in the state. He and Rob Land, the emergency-response coordinator for AMEC, praised Co-Mo for the linemen, support staff and technology that is assisting the restoration effort.
"The technology Co-Mo has is one thing a lot of other cooperatives don't have, and it is definitely easing the process and helping keep members informed," Hart said.
Crews worked until after 11:30 p.m. Friday night after starting at around 6 a.m. Much of the work south of Versailles has been completed. Trouble spots remain in the hard-hit areas that include but are not limited to Prairie Home, Pilot Grove, Versailles, California, Florence and Stover. Whereas at one point through Wednesday the largest single outage was more than 1,200, the largest single outage as of 8 a.m. Saturday was 71.
Brian Hunsburger, the cooperative's Senior Service Planning Technician, urged members who are still without power who have not called after 3 p.m. Friday to do so at (800) 781-0157.
"We have a very good Outage Management System that tells us where outages are, but this falls under "trust but verify,'" said Senior Service Planning Technician Brian Hunsburger. "The last thing we want to do is think that we have successfully restored all members and then find out hours or days later that we missed someone."
Ken Johnson, the cooperative's CEO and General Manager, praised the crews and thanked the members for their patience.
"I'm hopeful that this light we're seeing at the end of this tunnel is, indeed, light for all our members," he said.
Members can keep up with the latest updates at www.facebook.com/comoelectric.