Electric cooperative crews worked a regular work day Wednesday, then headed back into the field that evening to restore power in the wake of a powerful thunderstorm that swept across the state.
The storm packed winds of 70 mph and left a tangle of downed power lines and broken poles in its wake.
At the height of the storm, more than 20,000 electric cooperative members were without power, ranging from a handful in some areas to more than 9,000 for Crawford Electric based in Bourbon. By Thursday morning, those numbers had been reduced to 12,000.
Damage includes a significant number of broken poles, downed power lines and tree-related damage. In addition, several electric cooperatives were hampered by the loss of power to their headquarters.
Hardest hit and the number of members without power at the height of the outage were:
* Crawford Electric, Bourbon, 9,371
* Intercounty Electric, Licking, 2,396
* Cuivre River Electric, Troy, 2,141
Due to the significant damage, Crawford Electric Cooperative activated its Emergency Response Plan, which includes calling for assistance from neighboring cooperatives through the statewide mutual assistance plan coordinated by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City. The cooperative also brought in right-of-way tree trimming contractors.
Crews from unaffected parts of the state quickly rushed to assist Crawford Electric. Those sending help included:
• Black River Electric, Fredericktown – Two construction crews, six linemen and four trucks
• SEMO Electric, Sikeston – Two maintenance crews, four linemen and two bucket trucks
•Intercounty Electric, Licking – Three maintenance crews, six linemen and three bucket trucks
The public is cautioned to avoid any downed power lines, which should be considered live and dangerous. Work will continue until all members once again have power.