Questions and answers for the electric company

By CJ Cassidy
As thousands of people remain in the dark, some have lots of questions for their power company.
One of the questions we hear most often from people who call or email us at Heartland News - when do power crews plan on coming to their town?
One woman Heartland News spoke with says the power outage already forced her out of her home so she just wants some straight answers.
"It is hard to be patient when you're having to live somewhere else or have to go somewhere else.  It's just hard," said Paula Menees.
She hasn't been inside her trailer for a few days.
She says the heat from a generator isn't enough and she dreads the work ahead of her.
"I have lost everything. All our food and everything's ruined. The water pipes are busted," she said.
Menees blames SEMO Electric Cooperative for not restoring power to her Benton, Missouri home before heading south.
"All I hear is they want to get electric on where there's a lot of houses you know where they can benefit a whole lot.  Well, we need benefit too."
"We have a plan to get people back on. We have to work that plan. If I make a concession for one person where do I say no? Right now we have about 4,000 members without power," Glen Cantrell with SEMO Electric Coop said.
He says they never gave their customers any false hope.
"We've told them from day one this is going to take a while, and you need to make plans."
In fact, Cantrell says his crews were working close to Benton, Wednesday; the same day we spoke with Paula Menees.
"Here's the list. You didn't tell me where the people were that you talked to till you got here," he says and when I say I already mentioned the Benton area, he says: " The Benton area is huge."
Cantrell says dealing with angry customers is just one of the problems on their hands and they're working just as hard to resolve any misunderstandings.
"We've heard a lot of rumors Ameren's offered help and we're refusing," Cantrell said. "That is absolutely positively false. In the meantime, we're also bringing in additional crews."
That's good news for folks like Paula Menees.
In the meantime, Glen Cantrell says starting Thursday the SEMO Electric Coop plans on putting up a link on their website addressing rumors.  We'll let you know how to access it when it's up and running.