|HEAT, WATER SHORTAGES CONTINUE
11,000 Still without power
By: Paula Barr\Daily Journal Staff Writer
July 21, 2006 11:18:26 CDT
Approximately 10,000 Washington County residents and fewer than 1,000 St.
Francois County homes remained without power this morning as a result of a powerful storm
that hit the area Wednesday night.
We had about 20,000 outages in Washington, St. Francois and Iron counties,
Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary said. We hope to have most of the power restored by the
end of the weekend, but individual cases might take longer.
The hardest hit area appears to be in the central part of Potosi, where downed power lines
and trees still blocked several streets this morning.
Cleary said utility co-ops and other agencies were helping Ameren restore services. In the
Washington, Iron and St. Francois counties area, about 70 forestry workers, 60 line
workers and 15 field checkers are clearing and restoring lines. Another 23 line workers
were expected today.
Emergency officials in Washington County spent Thursday trying to
obtain generators, cots and water for the area. Water continued to be a top concern, as
only one pump is working and the main water tank for the area is out of service. State
Rep. J. C. Kuessner, D-Eminence, was trying to arrange to borrow a generator from the
Department of Corrections once power was restored to the prison. Instead, Ameren workers
were trying to hook up a National Guard generator this morning, but officials were not
certain it was big enough to handle the job.
Although residents had been urged to conserve water, some were ignoring the request and
were watering their lawns, Potosi Mayor T.R. Dudley said.
We had people watering their lawns, Dudley said. I would have thought
that asking them to conserve was clear. Apparently, we have to say specifically, please
don't water your lawns.
The county and city both declared the area a disaster area and asked the state to do the
same. As of this morning, that had not happened.
They say they won't consider it until we have a total
assessment of damages, Washington County Commissioner Bob Reed said in frustration.
Without power and phones, we still haven't heard from everyone. How are we supposed
to assess total damages?
By late afternoon, temporary shelters had been established in Potosi Elementary School,
the Potosi Elks Club, the Handicapped Center, Kingston K-14 school district, Richwoods
Lions Den, Potosi Fire Station #1, St. Joachim School, Bonne Terre Nutrition Center and
the Farmington Civic Center.
Debra Lynch and her friends headed to the fire station before noon.
My M.S. doesn't like the heat, said Lynch. This is wonderful.
Jared Falk, of Sen. Kevin Engler's office, headed up the Potosi
Elementary School shelter during the day.
Things are going well, although the kids are getting a little stir crazy, Falk
A nurse and nurse practitioner were on hand, and Potosi School Supt. Randy Davis called in
food service workers to make supper and breakfast for those who stayed over night. About
150 people of all ages stayed the night.
Restaurants along Missouri 21 fared well during the day. Electric had been restored early
and business was booming.
We've done about $500 more than usual for the day shift, general manager Jodi
Pratt said. We've been delivering all over the county.
Theresa and Michael Bates had no power at their restaurant on Main Street, so they fired
up the gas grill and cooked up all the meat that had been in the freezer of Mama T's
We're trying to do a little barbecue business, Theresa Bates said. Our
freezers did OK, but we lost a lot of food like potato salad, salad dressing, all that
kind of stuff.
The power outage affected retail stores as well. There wasn't a D battery to be found in
the Potosi Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart in Desloge sold out of battery fans by midday.
Sheba Kelly-Kennon, the manager of the Bonne Terre Family Center, said her store had sold
37 generators by 1 p.m. on Thursday.
People were coming from everywhere, Kennon said. We sold five chainsaws
and ran out of several chains. Since then we have replenished our supply of chains,
though. We sold all of the generators that we had in stock and started taking orders for
Kennon said the generators are expected to arrive at her store by 1 p.m. today.
This storm is such a horrible thing, Kennon said. We have people just
come into the store and sit and wait for the generators because they don't have anywhere
else to go.
PRESIDENT DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY
Fema Tours Washington County Friday Afternoon
By Paula Barr\Daily Journal Staff Writer
Friday, Jul 21, 2006 - 21:41:44 CDT
Damage assessors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency toured
Washington County Friday after Gov. Matt Blunt and President George W. Bush declared the
area in a state of emergency.
Bush ordered federal aid to help state and local emergency response members. Four National
Guardsmen were in the county and handed out food staples and water from the courthouse
Friday afternoon. More food and water are expected today for Washington County residents
who lost food in the power outage.
By afternoon, pumps were working at all but the main water tank in Potosi and most city
residents had power restored. However, another 9,200 households in Washington and Iron
counties and 630 customers in St. Francois County remained without power as of 5:30 p.m.
Some of those outages were the result of a storm that hit the area shortly after noon
Friday. That storm also hit the St. Louis area, bringing the total to 430,000 customers in
the metro area without power, Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary said.
Washington County Memorial Hospital handled more than 50 patients with heat-related
illnesses, some of whom were transferred to local nursing homes. The Potosi Elementary
School remained opened as a cooling center on Friday and offered overnight accommodations
Residents without electricity were offered air mattresses and cots to
sleep on in the school's cafeteria. St. Francois County and the YMCA of the Ozarks camp
provided approximately 100 cots, according to Washington County Presiding Commissioner Bob
Washington County Sheriff Kevin Schroeder said two FEMA assessors toured Potosi and the
county with local officials to estimate damage from Wednesday's storm. Those totals could
be ready sometime today.
Schroeder said some people took unfair advantage of the darkness from the power outage.
We had eight attempted burglaries last night, he said Friday. They knew
the burglar alarms were out and decided to take whatever they could get.
Potosi police reported no unusual criminal activity during the
After Blunt deemed the area in a state of emergency, National Guardsmen arrived with a
generator and a desire to help, emergency officials noted.
Bush's order authorized FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts. In a prepared
statement, Bush authorized FEMA to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion,
equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris
removal, direct federal assistance and other emergency protective measures will be
provided at 75 percent federal funding, Bush said.
|PRESIDENT DECLARES EMERGENCY FOR MISSOURI
09:53 P.M. Friday, July 21, 2006
Fema Press Release
WASHINGTON The head of the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced
today that President Bush declared an emergency exists in the State of Missouri and
ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by
severe storms beginning on July 19, 2006, and continuing.
FEMA Director David Paulison said the President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate
all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and
suffering caused by the emergency on the local population. FEMA is also authorized to
provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V
of the Stafford Act, to save lives, protect property and public health and safety, or to
lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. The emergency declaration is for the
independent City of St. Louis, the counties of Dent, Iron, Jefferson, St. Charles, St.
Louis, and Washington.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion,
equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Debris
removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be
provided at 75 percent Federal funding.
Representing FEMA, Paulison named Thomas J. Costello as the Federal Coordinating
Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident.
FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers,
and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.