(KFVS) - The Southeast Missouri Electric Cooperative is preparing for severe winter weather in its entire service area of Southeast Missouri.
According to the National Weather Service, precipitation will likely begin as a mix of freezing rain and sleet Thursday before changing over to all snow.
The area could see as much as 0.5 to 0.75 inches of ice accumulation beginning early Friday morning and continuing through the day.
While snow does not usually affect power supply, ice storms are among the most devastating weather events that can hit the electric power supply grid.
When freezing rain falls, it can collect on lines. The heavy weight can snap lines, cause trees to fall into lines or topple poles. Crews are also held back by icy road conditions and downed trees that make travel difficult.
Members who rely on electricity to heat their homes should make plans for alternative shelter in the event a major outage takes place.
When large numbers of outages occur, the Emergency Assistance Procedure coordinated by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City is enacted. As outages occur, electric cooperatives call the association to request help. The association staff coordinates bringing in crews, equipment and supplies from unaffected parts of the state to lend assistance.
The winter storm watch starts 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.