SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– On the first day of 2021, people across the Ozarks awoke to find a layer of ice and snow settled over their yards, trees, and neighborhood streets.
For many in Southwest Missouri, this meant power outages. The Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives is still working to restore power in thousands of homes across the region at the time of this report.
Shane Long lost power earlier after the winter storms damaged a power line outside of his home.
“We were just kind of getting up and getting around,” said Long. “I was getting her to go feed the cattle amd big loud bang! And a pretty good sized fireball outside the window, and well when the transformers went it knocked one of the wires down and the wire still hot. I guess it’s still hot yet. It burnt for I don’t know, a good hour over here on the ground.”
The Long’s join a long list of families who lost power in the Ozarks.
Joel Alexander, the manager of media and energy services for City Utilities, said his crews have been working to restore power since 1:30 a.m.
“At the peak of the storm, we probably had about 12,000 customers that were impacted by this,” said Alexander.
After substations north of Springfield lost power on Jan. 1, Alexander said he had to call in some extra help.
“It’s an all hands on deck situation,” said Alexander. “Besides just our line crews and tree crews, which we had already in place waiting around the shop last night, waiting for this to come in. We brought in contract crews from some other vendors that we also have, as well as tree trimmers.”
Alexander admits this is not the New Years Day they were hoping for.
“Not only our crews, but I think everybody was really hoping that 2020 would kind of go away with the start of 21′,” said Alexander. “So far, we’re starting up maybe even asking for a restart on this one.”
As of 9:45 p.m., Alexander said approximately 1,200 City Utilities customers are without power.
But the same wintery mess causing outages and inconveniences is also providing some seasonal scenery.
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