Sikeston outage update 1/31

The following information comes from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.

Saturday, around 3:30 pm, BMU updated their progress to the Emergency Operational Command in Sikeston.  Wayne McSpadden, BMU Operational Manager, said mild weather allowed some progress today.  He reported the city is now running around 30% on electrical power, with all substations now energized.   McSpadden said although they were able to bring electricity to some homes, 80% of the residential areas are still without power.  McSpadden was happy to report BMU was able to get Missouri Delta Medical Center and some residential homes around that area back on the system.    
McSpadden anticipated more improvements to come, due to more mild weather forecasted for Sunday.  Highs are expected to reach near 50 degrees and this is what we need to continue to make progress.  Although there are no guarantees, a good day tomorrow could bring the city close to 50% on electrical power, barring any unforeseen setbacks. 
We have endured several setbacks during this ordeal.  Some areas of the city that regained power initially, lost it a few hours later for various reasons.  It should be noted that the electrical grid is still very fragile.  Should your home get power restored, we urge you to wait before you decide to move back in.  Moving back prematurely may cause some grief if the power is lost again. 
In addition, Sonny's Solid Waste reported they will be continuing their sanitation efforts for the city on Monday.  Anyone who normally has trash set out in alleyways should set their trash near the street in front of their homes.  Sonny's will not be collecting trash in any of the city's alleyways until further notice.  All trash will be collected curbside, in front of your home.
The City of Sikeston is slowly making headway through this ordeal.  Tomorrow the EOC will hold another briefing and hopefully we will be able to report further progress. 
1/30 Update: Sikeston's Emergency Operational Command has been working around the clock during this ongoing crisis.  We are continuing the effort of bringing in resources for the health and safety of our citizens.  
Sikeston BMU is repairing damaged substations around the city so when power is re-established they will be able to handle the load.  This remains a delicate process.  BMU continues to push forward, continuously working to improve our power situation.  Kenny Stokes, a line foreman for BMU, told us that the ice is beginning to melt on some of these power lines, which will help us.   However, motorists and pedestrians should use extreme caution around power lines during the melting phase.  Most of this ice is over three inches in diameter and it is dropping off the lines in 5 to 6 foot sections.  This weight can cause severe injury to people or damage to your vehicle.  
The Missouri's 1140th Army National Guard is one valuable resource that we have in place.  This will be the second day of their efforts of going door to door checking every home without power.  This was put into place to ensure the wellbeing of those still at their homes during this power outage.  Once this task is completed, the 1140th will be assisting our street department in debris removal from the city streets.   The City of Sikeston will be opening the compost site off Compress Road Saturday, 01-31-09.  Until further notice this site will be open everyday from 7am till 5pm.  Citizen's can bring their fallen tree limbs there during those times..  The 1140th is sending some heavy equipment to help manage this site due to the volume of debris we will be dealing with.
Several Churches in our area have volunteered to assist our community during this ordeal.  We appreciate their support and also the assistance from various other organizations.  We currently are asking our local Churches to make contact with their members and ensure they are out of harm's way.  Our situation requires as much participation from the community as possible.  Please check on your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family.   This is truly a time that we must all come together and work towards a common goal. 
Sikeston DPS responded to a carbon monoxide poisoning last night due to a subject operating a gas generator inside their garage.   The subject was transported to MDMC and treated.  Generators are invaluable during a time like this, but they can be deadly.  Here are a few Generator Safety tips you should follow to keep you and your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
CO Poisoning:
  • Never use a generator indoors on in enclosed spaced (i.e. Garages, basements, crawl spaces)
  • Make sure a generator has three to four feet of clear space on all sides and make sure there is adequate ventilation.
  • Ensure generators are placed far away from doors, windows, and vents. This could allow carbon monoxide to enter the home.
  • Never use a barbeque grill in your home for heat.
  • Install a CO detector in your home.
  • Symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, headaches, nausea, and tiredness. If you believe you have CO poisoning, seek fresh air immediately and contact Sikeston DPS before you re-enter the structure.
Fire Safety:
  • Do not fuel your generator while it is running. Spilt fuel can ignite on the hot engine parts.
  • Do not store fuel inside your home and keep the containers away from the generator.
  • Never use Frayed or damaged extension cords and use the proper outdoor rated cords, ensuring the wire gauge is adequate for your appliance load.
  • Follow the owner's manual to properly setup and maintain your generator.
  • Keep an approved fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Don't overload your generator. Putting more of a load than your generator can handle can cause a fire and/damage your appliances.
In closing, there have been several residents asking which radio stations are broadcasting current updates on Sikeston's power crisis.  Below is a list of frequencies that are currently operable and relaying updates.
  • KGMO- 100.7 fm
  • KZIM - 960 am
  • KAPE- 1550 am
  • K103 - 102.9 fm
  • Real Rock 99.3 fm
Sikeston DPS will release further information as it develops.