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2/26/2013

Heavy snow causes outages

3 p.m. update
Tipton, Mo. (Feb. 26, 2013) —
Co-Mo Electric crews are getting some assistance from their cooperative brethren in restoring power to more than 13,000 members who are without electricity in the wake of a massive snowstorm.

As of 3 p.m., crews had been working on outages for more than 12 hours.  

Eight crews from Laclede, Se-Ma-No and Webster electric cooperatives — all southwest of Co-Mo —are headed toward Co-Mo country to assist in the restoration effort.

“This is worse than a lot of ice storms,” said Fred Franken, a cooperative lineman for 40 years, ashe helped his crew in restoration efforts outside High Point. “It’s slow going out here.”

More than a foot of snow has been dumped on parts of Co-Mo country since Monday evening, and moreis expected through the night and into Wednesday.

Much of our challenge is physically getting to the problem areas to make repairs,”said Ken Johnson, Co-Mo’s CEO and General Manager. “We do not have a good estimate as to when the power will be fully restored. We plan to work late into this evening to bring as many back on as possible.”

Crews will then start again at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Johnson said those without power who have an option of safely reaching a place with electricity should plan on doing so. Members needing assistance should call the state’s emergency management hotline at 211.

“We are working very hard to get the power restored, but it could be a very long night and our members need to take appropriate action to secure their safety,” he said.

Co-Mo Operations Manager Chuck Tuttle said the cooperative is taking a systematic approach to restoration efforts.

“The typical way electric utilities deal with large-scale outages is to work on the problems that would restore the most members first and then move on to the next issue,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing.” 

Members are encouraged to keep up with the cooperative’s outage map through the link at the top of its homepage. There, members can see how many people are out of power in their map section. 

Co-Mo is updating members on the latest through its Facebook page (facebook.com/comoelectric) and website (co-mo.coop), as well as through the local media.

 

Stories have been coming in from the field of members going to great lengths to help cooperative employees.

“Whether it’s members who are helping plow roads for our crews to be able to get there or local businesses donating coffee and doughnuts so our crews can eat, the spirit of Co-Mo country is showing itself to be very strong,” Johnson said.

Co-Mo Safety Coordinator Jimmy Jester said the most important thing for members to remember is to stay away from downed power lines.

“Always assume a downed power line is live,”he said. “And parents should check around their home before sending the kids out to play to make sure there aren’t any downed lines or low-hanging lines weighed down by snow.”





8 a.m. Update
Tipton, Mo. (Feb. 26, 2013) —
Heavy, wet snow that weighed down power lines and trees caused more than 8,000 Co-Mo members to lose power Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Co-Mo crews have been working to restore service since before midnight, but the quickly falling snow and treacherous road conditions have made it difficult to keep up.

"Crews are continuing to make progress, but it is a constant battle to turn each line back on,” said Chuck Tuttle, the cooperative’s Operations Manager.

Co-Mo Safety Coordinator Jimmy Jester said the most important thing for members to remember is to stay away from downed power lines.

“Always assume a downed power line is live,” he said. “And parents should check around their home before sending the kids out to play to make sure there aren’t any downed lines or low-hanging lines weighed down by snow.”

Tuttle had no estimate as of 8 a.m. of when power would be restored to any specific area. Members can keep up with the latest updates at facebook.com/comoelectric or the co-op’s website, co-mo.coop.

“The typical way electric utilities deal with large-scale outages is to work on the problems that would restore the most members first and then move on to the next issue,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing.”

As of 8 a.m., some of the largest outages were in Ivy Bend, Gravois Mills, Sunrise Beach and Prairie Home. Those four areas accounted for nearly half of the outages.  

Jester said members with medical issues requiring power — such as those on oxygen —should execute their emergency plan. Members can call 2-1-1 for the state’s emergency management hotline.

“All our crews are working on these outages,” said Ken Johnson, the cooperative’s CEO and General Manager. “The weather is certainly less than ideal to be working on restoration, but we will get the power back on as quickly as is safely possible. I just want to thank our members for their patience and support.”



7:30 a.m. update
Quick and IMPORTANT reminder: If you see downed power lines, DO NOT TOUCH THEM. Assume they are live. Parents, it's a good idea to check around your home before sending the kids out to play.


7:05 a.m. update

A special video update from Co-Mo Electric 

We have about 6,800 members without power. Treacherous roads are making it difficult to reach the problems but the crews are determined and working to get un-stuck wherever possible. Thanks so much for your patience. 


5:45 a.m. update
We've got about 3,300 members without power and all crews are working on the problems. As you can imagine, travel isn't the easiest right now so getting to the problems is an issue. The largest outages are in Gravois, Prairie Home and Fortuna. You can check out our outage map here:https://ebill.co-mo.coop/oms/outageMap

Said Operations Manager Chuck Tuttle: "Crews are continuing to make progress but it is a constant battle to turn each line back on. We hope daybreak will provide a more viewable path for our linemen so we can make better progress." 

2:26 a.m. 
Crews are working on outages affecting about about 1,500 members. All crews are either working on the outages or headed to the offices to get their trucks/equipment and start repairs. Co-Mo Operations Manager Chuck Tuttle reports the main problem is the heavy snow is weighing down wires and trees, causing most of the problem. He also said roads are treacherous, making maximum speeds about 10 to 15 mph. More updates as they become available. Go to facebook.com/comoelectric for the latest news. 


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