SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Officials from several Greene County agencies teamed up for a news conference Thursday to tell the public how they are preparing for a possible half-inch of ice in the area.
While several topics were discussed, officials addressed two big concerns the public has going into this storm — what are the roads going to be like and will the power go out?
In the news conference, officials talked almost as much about the 2007 ice storm as the one approaching.
“We have emergency training plans in place for dealing with this type of situation, we have exercised those plans over the last few years and we believe that we have the folks in place and the training done that will allow us to manage this outage as much as we can,” said City Utilities General Manager Scott Miller.
Miller said he feels good about City Utilities’ ability to handle the upcoming storm, but there is one factor his crews cannot control.
“There has been a substantial amount of tree-trimming on the system since last ice storm, but we recognize that a half-inch of ice and some wind has the potential to cause a lot of damage,” Miller said.
Springfield Public Works will have crews out pre-treating Thursday night and crews ready to handle downed trees and other obstacles.
However, Mayor Pro-Tem McClure echoed what KOLR10 News heard from MoDOT Wednesday.
“We know that the roadways and especially the bridges will be treacherous for at least part of the day tomorrow, so we advise you to avoid travel if at all possible,” McClure said.
While government officials are trying to prepare the best they can, they also advised the public on a few measures it should take.
“Things such as stock up on bottled water, stock up on non-perishable food items, batteries for your flashlights and have a first aid kit on hand,” said Greene Co. Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin. “And I also want to remind you do not operate generators inside your home.”
“The hope is that tomorrow is going to be a rain event and those of you who didn’t have to go to work had a day off.,” Miller said. “But the reality of it is that we have a potential ice event and I think based upon what you’ve heard all of the areas are ready to take on that situation.”
All of the agencies emphasized they will be hammering out constant information over their websites and on social media all weekend.
So it may be advisable for locals to pick up that smart phone and follow City Utilities, Greene County, city departments like fire and police and the National Weather Service.