Forecasters are saying that Hurricane Laura is the most powerful hurricane to hit the state of Louisiana in 150 years. The “New Orleans Times-Picayune” reports the storm made landfall as a category four storm, bringing strong winds and a crashing storm surge.

Hurricane Laura made landfall as a category four storm. It damaged the Tiger Stop gas station in Alexandria, Louisiana, which is northwest of New Orleans (photo courtesy of Alexandria’s Facebook page)

The Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) says hometown utility crews from six Missouri towns are in Alexandria, Louisiana this afternoon. They are staging there and are working to clear roads and to restore power.

“These are public power utilities,” MPUA spokesman Kerry Cordray says. “These are hometown utilities that are part of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance’s mutual aid network.”

Mr. Cordray says the utility crews working in Louisiana are from Hannibal, Harrisonville, Higginsville, Macon, Nixa and Rolla. 24 lineworkers are in Alexandria, which is a city of about 47,000 residents.

Alexandria, which is northwest of New Orleans, is Louisiana’s ninth-largest city. Cordray says the Missouri lineworkers are in difficult conditions.

“Even just getting access to the areas, you know, lots of roads have to be cleared, they have to be careful for flooding to make sure their safety is absolutely first,” says Cordray.

The six Missouri towns with lineworkers in Louisiana have “public power” electric utilities.

Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents remain without power.

“They (lineworkers) roll out, equipped and ready to hit the road and assist the local utility to get poles back up and lines back up,” Cordray says.

He says the Missouri crews have lots of equipment and vehicles.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s interview with Missoui Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) spokesman Kerry Cordray, which was recorded on August 27, 2020:

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