ST. LOUIS — For those who wonder why it's taking so long to restore power to southern Missouri, the man who assembles repair crews has three words.
Mike Conyers, state coordinator for mutual aid, says "there's nothing left" from last week's ice storm. He says it destroyed the infrastructure that delivers electricity.
As the fallout of a devastating ice storm enters its second week, about 27,850 homes and businesses in the region still are without power.
Conyers says crews from an out-of-state power association may not arrive to rebuild southern Missouri's crumpled transmission lines for another week. And it could take 45 days to rebuild them.
Missouri National Guard Specialist Daniel Cummings of Poplar Bluff just returned from duty in the region. In rural Ripley County, he found residents who hadn't eaten in days drinking melted snow.
Cummings says many elderly people insisted on staying home, afraid to leave their farm animals and pets behind.