The State Emergency Management Agency is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a January 26 ice storm leveled thousands of power poles and trees throughout Southeast Missouri.
About 200 customers still don’t have electricity … a small number compared to the 163 thousand whose lights went out after the ice storm swept the region.
State Emergency Management Agency’s Susie Stoner says all of the shelters are now closed, all schools are back in session and all boil-water orders have been lifted.
Stoner says those needing assistance cleaning up debris or help with replacement food funding and other services are calling 2-1-1, a number that links them to the United Way. Nearly 900 people have used the service to date.
SEMA now moves on to the next order of business. Agency officials have been conducting preliminary damage assessments in the affected counties and are compiling the information to pass on to Governor Nixon’s office.
Twenty-two counties were affected by the storm, which caused a record estimate of 193 million dollars in damage to infrastructure.
President Obama declared 20 of those counties a Major Disaster earlier this week, meaning the feds will reimburse counties for emergency protective actions up to 75 percent and pay for debris removal and other costs incurred to counties and cities as a result of the natural disaster.