Amazing aftermath

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In the wake of this week's ice storm, AmerenUE is receiving high praise from customers whose power was cut off. From a high of outages experienced by close to 12,000 customers in Cape Girardeau County on Tuesday, the number had been reduced to only a handful by Friday morning. Ameren confronted the widespread outages with hundreds of repair crew members that included employees as well as personnel brought in from other companies.

Elsewhere in Southeast Missouri's more rural areas with more rugged terrain and blocked accessibility, the process of restoring power was going much more slowly. Bollinger County officials worried about residents who have been cut off for most of the week because of downed trees blocking rural roads. With electricity and phones, they have been unable to make contact with anyone, and it has been nearly impossible to reach them to see how they are doing.

The hope is that most everyone found ways to get by. Story after story emerged this week of the resourcefulness and ingenuity of so many who found ways to survive despite the cold temperatures, lack of power and ice-coated trees. Thursday's warm sunshine was a welcome sight indeed, and the danger of more falling limbs appears to have passed for the most part.

It is impossible to properly thank the hundreds of workers, volunteers and neighbors who restored power, reconnected phone and TV-cable lines, cleared streets and highways, responded to emergency calls, provided food and shelter, checked on shut-ins, opened their homes to storm-battered guests, helped clear layers of ice from cars and trucks and found so many ways to pitch in during the bleakest hours of the storm. But it needs to be said:

Thank you.

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