Normalcy returns to Southeast Missouri after devestating ice storms
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Normalcy returns to Southeast Missouri after devestating ice storms

Date: February 9, 2009
By: Theo Keith
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: Missouri's emergency management chief says life for many southeast Missourians is back to normal, although some remain in the dark.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City.

RunTime:0:46
OutCue: SOC
While thousands of residents of southeast Missouri remain in the dark after ice storms rolled through in late January, the State Emergency Management Agency has begun assessing the damage.
 
Acting Director of SEMA, John Campbell briefed the House Homeland Security committee Monday.

Actuality:  CAMPBELL.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: Roughly, we have identified somewhere in the area of $195 million, which would make this a very substantial storm. I'm still in the process, in between phone calls, of trying to compare this with past ice storms, but this ranks right up there.

Campbell says thousands of poles litter the ground in Dunklin and Pemiscot counties, two of the hardest hit areas.

He says the state will soon know if the federal government will declare southeast Missouri a disaster area.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith.


Intro: The leader of the State Emergency Management Agency praises the response to ice storms that rolled through Southeast Missouri in late January.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC
In the aftermath of the storms, agencies from across the state brought food and supplies and restored power in the affected areas.
 
11,000 residents remain without power Monday, and 33 people spent Sunday night in shelters.
 
But SEMA's acting director, John Campbell, says the state's response was effective.

Actuality:  CAMP1.WAV
Run Time: 00:07
Description: Obviously we're going to find places we can do better, but Missouri got the best response it could get from our folks.

Jackson County Democratic Representative Ray Salva questioned why so many people are still in the dark.

Campbell says local utility companies are working to restore power.

Campbell says it's too soon to know if there are weak links in the emergency management system.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith.


Intro: Although the State Emergency Management Agency's chief says the state's response to the late January ice storms in southeast Missouri was effective, some in Jefferson City question that assessment.

Theo Keith has more from Jefferson City.

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OutCue: SOC
Southeast Missouri Republican Representative Billy Pat Wright got an up-close look at the effects of the ice storms.
 

Actuality:  WRIGHT1.WAV
Run Time: 00:14
Description: I've never driven into my hometown before when it's totally, completely blackout. You couldn't buy food, you couldn't buy gas, not a streetlight was on. And when I got to driveway, we had to chainsaw to get into it. You couldn't even get to my driveway.

SEMA Acting Director John Campbell explained some generators given to nursing homes didn't work because the agency relies on other sources to pitch in.

Campbell also said power companies are putting utility poles back up because it is not as cost-effective to bury the lines underground.

From the State Capitol, I'm Theo Keith.