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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Ike's aftermath: Storm rips through SE Missouri Sunday

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane-like winds toppled massive trees throughout New Madrid Sunday morning, blocking streets and taking down power lines. After a large tree fell across Mill Street, city workers used chain saws and a front-loader to clear away the debris.
(Jill Bock, Staff)
SIKESTON - Southeast Missouri residents continued their clean-up efforts today after the remnants of Hurricane Ike swept across the Bootheel Sunday morning.

The storm toppled trees, damaged property and left thousands without power. Electrical crews were continuing today in their efforts to restore power for Southeast Missouri residents.

According to a news release issued by SEMO Electric Cooperative, as the sun came up in this morning, seven additional crews with the Cooperative had joined the others as efforts continued to restore power power to customers.

The electrical power to much of New Madrid went out early Sunday morning. New Madrid Municipal Utility crews worked throughout the day to restore power in town.
(Jill Bock, Staff)
At its peak, SEMO Electric reported over 3,000 meters without power. As of this morning, that number has dwindled down to just under a 1,000, according to the release.

"As soon as we saw that this was a major outage, additional crews were requested," said SEMO Electric Communications Manager, Glen Cantrell, "that gives us a total of 18 crews who will be working to restore power as quickly as possible."

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety called in extra personnel in the storm's aftermath Sunday morning.

"With the citywide power outage, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of personnel on the street to provide services to the community," said Lt. Rick Rapert, shift commander in charge on Sunday. Officers from the police and fire division were called in and worked to monitor businesses and direct traffic, amongst other responsibilities.

"There were lots of trees falling on cars and houses," said Rapert. No injuries were reported, he said.

In Sikeston, there was a widespread problem of tree limbs in the street, according to Steve Lee, street superintendent. There were 17 or so major road blockages and numerous minor blockages, that were cleared within a few hours of the storm.

"We were out all day Sunday with a full crew," said Lee. "And work will continue all week. There's a lot of stuff that we can push off to the side of the road to open the roads, and we'll come back and get that."

Lee noted the city's compost site, located off Compress Drive behind Fire Station 1 on Northwest St., is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Friday. He encouraged anyone with debris to use the site to dispose of tree limbs and brush from their property.

In New Madrid County, Portageville was still without power today and officials were saying it could be Wednesday before electrical service was restored to the entire community. Power outages were also reported in the rural areas of the county.

Pemiscot County Sheriff Department reported a fallen limb injured one woman and trapped her in her home. The woman was rescued and reportedly suffered a broken leg.

Fallen tree limbs were the most damage reported in Scott County, sheriff's department personnel said. Scott County Central Schools was not in session today.

Clean-up efforts were also under way today in Mississippi County. Sheriff's department officials said there were still several power outages throughout the county as of 7:45 a.m. today. However, personnel with East Prairie Police Department said early today power had been restored to the town. Charleston R-1, East Prairie R-2 and St. Henry Catholic School in Charleston closed due to the outages and/or storm-related damage.

While Sikeston received only a trace of rain from the storm, the Sikeston Power Plant, which serves a reporting station for the National Weather Service, measured wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour.

A tow boat captain on the Mississippi River reportedly measured wind gusts of 87 miles per hour.