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Patience urged for thousands of Southeast Missourians as crews work to restore power

Friday, January 30, 2009

While power was slowly returning to areas of Scott and Stoddard counties, little progress was being made further south in Missouri.

AmerenUE reported that 30,054 customers were without power in Southeast Missouri, a decrease of about 4,100 from Thursday morning. All 5,033 customers in New Madrid County did not have electricity and 7,642, or 99 percent, of customers in Pemiscot County were in the dark. About 5,000, or 95 percent, of customers in Mississippi County did not have power.

Dunklin County still had 1,080, or 33 percent, of its customers in the dark, the same amount as the previous morning.

AmerenUE had restored power to roughly 2,600 more customers in Scott County, which stands at 5,490 without power, and 1,600 more customers in Stoddard County, with 5,758 without electricity this morning. Less than one percent, or 37 customers, were without power in Cape Girardeau County.

Glenn Cantrell, communication manager for SEMO Electric Cooperative, said that between 10,000 and 11,000 of its members were without power on Thursday evening but that number has now increased to about 12,000. He said it could be at least 10 to 14 days before power is restored.

"The further south you go the worse the conditions are," Cantrell said. "Our entire area is hit hard."

In addition to 100 employees from SEMO Electric Cooperative, six crews from three other cooperatives from the state are assisting in restoring power to its members.

"Be patient," he said. "I know it's frustrating and a lot of people are having flashbacks to last year. We're trying to restore power as quickly as possible."

Look for more on this developing story later in the day at semissourian.com.

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