Branson, Missouri –
Crews from Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives were out in force Friday night and into Saturday morning, Dec. 10-11, as they worked to restore power to more than 15,000 members following a night that saw multiple tornadoes devastate parts of the state.
Hardest hit was Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, which saw more than 5,400 members lose power in Lincoln and St. Charles counties. Damage was found stretching from Branson, where White River Valley had more than 3,000 without power, to the Mississippi River and as far north as Troy where Cuivre River Electric is based. The work continued overnight, and power was restored to most members by daybreak.
Work continued Saturday and Sunday in the Bootheel where Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric Cooperative saw an entire substation taken out of commission by the powerful winds, with more than 100 three-phase poles broken. In addition to the damage to Pemiscot-Dunklin’s lines, the tornado destroyed 17 steel towers supporting a major transmission line owned by power generator Associated Electric Cooperative.
Pemiscot-Dunklin Manager Jamie Vaughn reached out to the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives for assistance, and seven construction crews from five nearby electric cooperatives were quickly sent to help. Those co-ops sending assistance were Citizens Electric, Perryville; Howell-Oregon Electric, West Plains; M&A Power, Poplar Bluff; Ozark Border Electric, Poplar Bluff; and SEMO Electric, Sikeston. Contractor Croft Electrical also assisted with repairs.
“As of this morning, we still have approximately 300 outages in our Denton substation,” Vaughn said Sunday morning. “With the extensive tornado damage, many transmission lines were knocked out and the entire substation has been out of power. We hope to have power restored and the substation back up sometime today. This will get the majority of our members in that area back on. There will likely still be a few outages remaining at that point and we will be working to restore power to those as quickly as possible.”
He summed up the feeling shared by every co-op manager following the all-out effort, saying, “We want to thank our linemen and employees for their tireless efforts to turn the power back on. We would also like to thank the many crews that have arrived to assist us in getting the power back on.”
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White River Valley Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative dedicated to ensuring our members receive safe and reliable service in their homes and businesses across five southwest Missouri counties including Ozark, Taney, Stone, Christian and Douglas.