One step forward, two steps back…

After power was restored for more than 150,000 customers in Southeast Missouri knocked out by the Jan. 26 ice storm, this week’s hard rains and high winds left several hundred folks — again — without electricity.

Officials report power is out for just over 8,000 customers across the region.

Susie Stoner with the State Emergency Management Agency says weakened structures and power poles couldn’t stand up to this week’s storm.

A few poultry buildings toppled in the storm, meaning agricultural losses have been added to the list.

Farmers are being referred to their local farm services agencies to see if they qualify for help through USDA programs.

Some schools in Stoddard, Dunklin and Pemiscot counties are still closed.

Stoner says some people are really hurting after not having power for nearly three weeks now … SEMA is referring them to multi-agency resource centers in the area and working with volunteer agencies to provide food, water, shelter and warmth to those affected.

The Multi-Agency Resource Centers registered. 2,069 people over the past two days and the American Red Cross has six feeding centers open. 

New Madrid County Officials report a 59-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning from running a generator in the garage at their house.

Six traffic fatalites resulted from the Jan. 26 ice storm.

Pemiscot County reports that some of the schools are back in session. Officials reported widespread outages continue in rural parts of the county.

“The electric co-ops were hoping to have more people connected,” Stoner said. “The winds and rain set them back; they’re working as hard as they can.”

The Missouri Department of Transportation reports two roads are closed due to utility damage, also reported 20 closures due to the heavy rain on Wednesday. MoDOT has extended an Emergency Declaration 09-01 for carriers operating in emergency relief efforts in our state. Recovery phase of operations has begun and more personnel have been moved into the area for debris removal and cleanup.