Southern and Southeast Missouri continue to recover from the January 26 ice storm that downed thousands of power poles and trees and left hundreds of thousands without electricity.

Missourians are probably starting to wonder if this is becoming an annual event.

The ice storm of February 2008 left two dead and thousands without power.

January of ’07 left parts of the Missouri looking like a "war zone," some say, especially in Southwest Missouri, which was still struggling to recover from a November/December 2006 ice storm, the worst the state had seen in nearly 20 years.

Some say it sounded like a war zone too — trees snapping under the weight of the ice sounding like gun shots.

Jim McCarty is the spokesman for the Missouri Association of Electric Cooperatives. He says this storm covers a smaller geographic area than last year’s wreckage, but that the damage is much more intense.

And some of those at ground zero are comparing it to other natural disasters.

Linemen from Mississippi and Louisiana say the damage to the grid is much worse than what they saw after hurricanes Katrina and Rita blew through their home states.

McCarty says after gaining experience through these outages each year result in one good thing — the cooperative efforts between local, state and federal agencies is getting a little better each time.

McCarty says it’s also unusual to lose the amount of transmission lines that were downed during this storm because those poles are much taller and out of the way of trees. He says there are many areas where co-ops are having to start from scratch and rebuild completely.

More than 11 thousand electric customers remain without power.

Jessica Machetta reports [Download/listen MP3]