Contact: Connie Kacprowicz
Columbia Water & Light
Communications & Marketing Supervisor
(573) 874-7325 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For food safety questions:
Department of Public Health and Human Services
Public Information Officer
UPDATE 1:00 PM: As Columbians sort through the damage from last night's storm, more outage reports are coming in. The current total of customers without electricity at this time is 4,200 from 112 outages. All employees at the electric distribution division have continued to work since last night with assistance from Asplundh and Par Electric. Assistance from other municipal utilities in the state has been requested from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. Columbia Water & Light appreciates everyone's patience during the electric system's major damage from the storm.
"It looked like a tornado bounced around town," commented a linemen working on power restoration efforts. After 11:00 pm last night, 14,000 Columbia Water & Light customers on 11 different circuits were without power along with many other smaller outages. All the outages were due to the storm bringing trees down on electrical transmission and distribution lines. As of this morning, there were an estimated 60 separate outages totaling 1,100 customers without power. Columbia Water & Light linemen have worked through the night and will continue to work until power is restored.
The most severe damage was on a line of poles on Fairview between Broadway and Worley. These poles carried one 69 kilovolt transmission circuit and two 13.8 kilovolt distribution circuits. Six poles that are 80 feet tall were broken off at or near the base. The two distribution circuits feed electricity to customers in the area. Most of those customers should be restored by early Tuesday afternoon except for the apartment complex at 2801 W. Broadway and the Boone County Teacher's Credit Union on Worley. The amount of time to repair the transmission lines is not known at this time but it could take until Wednesday morning. Fairview Road between Broadway and Ash will be closed beginning at 11:00 am while electric crews are replacing the poles.
It is difficult to determine how long it will take crews to repair the other electric lines in Columbia. There has been extensive damage so an estimate of time to restore electricity in the other areas of town is not known at this time.
While the power outages remain, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) would like to remind residents of the importance of proper food safety during and after a power outage.
A few basic tips should be followed in order to protect the health of you and your family:
The PHHS Environmental Public Health Unit will work with affected food establishments to ensure food is safe. Food safety will depend on the length of time the establishment was without power and whether or not the refrigerator and freezer doors remained closed. For more information about keeping food safe during an emergency, visit www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency.
While summer storms can be unpredictable, it is important that residents prepare their families for potential emergencies by creating an emergency preparedness kit. Kits should include items such as extra non-perishable food, water, flashlights with extra batteries, and a first aid kit. For more information about creating an emergency preparedness kit and plan, visit www.ready.gov.