We're coping, thanks

Friday, February 15, 2008

Coping. That's what folks in the parts of Southeast Missouri hit by the ice storm are doing. And, in most cases, they seem to be doing quite well, thanks to the kindness of friends and relatives, the hard work of road and utility crews and the efforts of relief agencies to provide shelters when needed.

Amid the inconvenience and upset of being without power while everything outdoors is coated with thick ice, there has been good news.

AmerenUE, the largest provider of electricity in the storm-struck area, hoped to have power restored to nearly all of its customers by Thursday night. The massive effort to deal with outages that number in the thousands was boosted by 1,100 linemen and tree trimmers Ameren brought into the area as soon as it was evident there would be widespread outages.

Shelters provided heat, food and beds for those who had nowhere else to turn. Those who took advantage of the shelters were grateful to have someplace to go and to the organizations that made the shelters possible, including the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Hundreds sought refuge with friends and neighbors. Some homes with electricity took in as many as 15 extra people who had no power. Peanut butter sandwiches were served for dinner at one full house. But everyone was safe and warm, and no one went hungry.

This is the best of Southeast Missourians and their ability to cope. Hats off to everyone.

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