“Thousands lost power in the St. Louis area and more than 30 homes had to be evacuated south of the city due to flooding that swamped roads and even left a woman trapped as she went into labor (source).”
That’s what Weather.com had to say about the most recent bouts of flooding in Missouri. It wasn’t just St. Louis proper that suffered flooding, but smaller rural communities, as well. In DeSoto, a town of less than 6,500 people about 50 miles south of St. Louis, more than thirty homes were evacuated during this August’s flash floods.
How Do Flash Floods Cause Power Outages
Power outages are a common side effect of bad weather in Missouri, but do you know exactly why it is that flash floods can cause you to lose power? Flood water can damage electrical lines and equipment, so your Missouri Electric Cooperative sometimes mitigates risk of equipment damage by scheduling downtimes during floods.
Another way flooding causes power outages is that because floods are usually a result of heavy rains. Heavy rains are often accompanied by lighting, thunder, and strong winds. Nature is powerful, and any one of these forces of nature (much less a combination of them) can bring down power lines.
Down trees and fallen branches can cause power outages, too. Flooding can weaken the soil where trees take root, causing entire trees to become uprooted. High winds can fell trees, and those same winds can cause branches to fall on power lines. In extreme cases, wind can damage power lines directly.
What You Can Do
When your community suffers sever storms and flash floods, there’s always a strong possibility that you’ll lose power for some length of time. Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives recommend keeping an emergency supply of food and water in your home, as well as batter-operated flashlights, and — if possible — an emergency generator.
What Your Missouri Electric Cooperatives Will Do
When flash floods cause service disruptions, your Missouri Electric Cooperatives will get power back to your community as quickly a possible by working together with workers from neighboring Cooperatives. In July 2016, more than 20,000 Missouri Member-Owners lost power during severe summer storms.
Cooperative crews from Black River Electric, SEMO Electric, and Intercounty Electric brought construction and maintenance crews, linemen, and trucks to help repair downed power lines, clear debris from tree damage, and repair broken power poles in Bourbon, Licking, and Troy, where most of the storm’s damage was concentrated.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Your Cooperatives will always cooperate with one another when severe weather strikes. That kind of “Cooperation Among Cooperatives” is one of the basic principles that makes your nonprofit Cooperatives unique.
You can learn more about Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives, and how we work to provide safe, efficient energy to rural Missouri by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.