At its height, the power outage problem stemming from the weekend ice storms affected more than 300,000 homes and businesses. And, while most of those power failures – especially in the St. Louis area – have been addressed with electricity restored, such is not the case for tens of thousands of homes and businesses in parts of southwest Missouri. The biggest problem continues to be along the Interstate-44 corridor from the Oklahoma border to Springfield and beyond. Mike Marsch, with the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, which represents 40 electric co-ops throughout the state, says a several systems in southwest Missouri are where much of the problem can be found. Even now, almost a week later, betwen 50,000 and 60,000 customers are still in the dark. The Empire District Electric Company in Joplin reports it still has about 30,000 of its customers without power. The power companies blame ice, caked on power lines, for bringing down those lines. They say strong winds then took down utility poles. So, crews must not only replace wires, but poles, too.

Related web sites:
Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives