A thunderstorm producing hail and capable of tornadoes hit the Mid-Missouri area on Wednesday evening. While Columbia experienced minimal power outages, citizens of Monroe, Missouri had no power Thursday morning.
Twelve linemen from Columbia Water and Light made the 84 mile trip in the morning hours to turn the power back on for the small community of 2,500.
The Missouri Public Utility Alliance is a mutual aid program that makes it possible for Columbia Water and Light to reach out to small communities who experience significant damage after a storm. Columbia Water and Light is reimbursed for their efforts through this mutual aid program and it allows these small communities to get the help they need right away.
Jackie Pangborn, is the Director of Administrations for Monroe City where Columbia Water and Light crews were dispatched.
“Our city received quite a bit of wind damage from straight-line winds is what we are being told. We had several, several electric poles with transformers throughout the town taken down, split in half. We have a lot of trees that took out quite a few poles. We’ve greatly benefited by their coming.”
Columbia Water and Light is no stranger to helping communities in need. Their efforts have spanned across the state of Missouri as well as the east coast when Hurricane Sandy hit last fall. Columbia Water and Light received thank you notes through Facebook and email from people on the east coast and people would cheer as they drove through.
Connie Kaprowicz is the spokesperson for Columbia Water and Light. She says the linemen enjoy their work and making a difference in communities of need, regardless of the conditions.
“They’re always willing to help. They’re amazing men as far as you know, they’ll work through the worst conditions and very dangerous conditions. But they know the importance of getting electricity restored.”
As of 1 O’clock Friday afternoon, power in Monroe City was 80 to 85 percent restored as Columbia Water and Light is continuing to help.