COLUMBIA — Linemen from Boone Electric Cooperative were ready to head to Texas this weekend to assist with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike, but help was not needed. Volunteer crews from Texas and neighboring states were originally asked to assist with recovery in Galveston, Texas and other areas, said Jimmy Goodnight, manager of operations for Boone Electric Cooperative.
Instead, help was needed in Poplar Bluff after strong winds caused by Hurricane Ike struck this weekend in southeast Missouri. Boone Electric Cooperative employee Roger Walker and five other linemen left Columbia around 5 p.m. on Sunday for Poplar Bluff. High winds that struck the area on Saturday and Sunday left broken poles and power outages.
Walker and his crew arrived around midnight on Monday in Poplar Bluff and began work that morning to mend poles, restring wire and restore electricity. The six men drove down in three utility trucks and expect to return to Columbia by the end of the week.
Several residences and businesses are without power in Poplar Bluff. Rainfall and flooding were less of a problem there than in other areas of the Midwest, Walker said. The area received about an inch of rainfall, and the majority of problems were caused by high winds, Walker said. He said the crew is prepared to stay past the end of the week if needed.