Tens of thousands of Missourians remain without power, the result of two ice storms that left a lot of destruction in their wake. The top state utility regulator is urging Missourians to have patience as power is restored.

Public Service Commission Chairman Jeff Davis says an ice storm wins out over emergency planning every time. He says the recent winter storms remind us that no matter how well a system is built and maintain, there will still be power outages at times. Davis says power lines are manufactured to hold up under a half inch of ice. He says many withstood even greater amounts of coating, but came down when tree limbs broke and fell on them.

The first ice storm hit portions of southwest, central and northeast Missouri Sunday, knocking power out for more than 50,000 households. A second ice storm tore through northwest Missouri early Tuesday morning, cutting off electricity for around 70,000. Once scattered outages in the rest of the state, including rural Missouri, are counted as many as 170,000 Missouri households were left without power.

Davis says it’s time now to let the utility crews do their work. Davis lost power to his home when the ice storm hit Jefferson City this past weekend. He says he walked his neighborhood to observe restoration efforts and is satisfied the utilities are doing all they can to restore electricity. He says the PSC will conduct a more formal review of the response later. 

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)