Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's cold and I'm lucky

BUFFALO, Mo. (AP)- Shoppers were reduced to picking up supplies by flashlight Tuesday in the few places open in this town of 2,800, as the death toll from a winter storm grew to 51 in nine states.

Three shelters in Buffalo — about 35 miles north of Springfield in hard-hit Missouri — housed nearly a tenth of its population Monday night, and officials said power might not be restored until next week.

The town lost all its power by Saturday. Water towers ran dry Sunday, and water service was restored only late Monday, after the National Guard hooked a generator up to a pumping station. [...]

In Missouri, the utility company Ameren said it would probably not have everyone’s lights back on until Wednesday night. As of Tuesday, about 210,000 homes and businesses still had no electricity.

The White House said Tuesday that 34 Missouri counties and St. Louis had been declared a major disaster area, making federal funding available. A similar federal disaster declaration was approved Sunday for Oklahoma.

From the Springfield News-Leader:

Gov. Matt Blunt asked residents to be patient, calling the situation "the largest mass (emergency)-care natural disaster (Missouri) has had to deal with."

No, I'm not going to take any political shots or make any jokes here. So why am I mentioning this? Because I left Springfield, Missouri, one day before the storm hit. If I'd stayed an extra day or had gone when I'd originally planned to do so, I'd still be stranded there. It was a stroke of luck that I was there in the first place--and just as much of one that I left when I did.

With that kind of personal luck, I feel good about the Saints. Let's just hope that Missouri has better luck with disaster relief than New Orleans did after Katrina. Has FEMA learned anything? Now's our chance to see.


Nick said...

What's been the reason for all your travels, if you don't mind me asking?

Matthew said...

Eh... speaking of luck, I think you spoke too soon.


Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, I'll tell you when it's safe to do so.

Matthew, I don't know if I trust that rumor. I've heard versions of it before, the most realistic of which involved bloggers who officially endorsed candidates. And even that didn't get anywhere. It sounds completely unenforceable anyway.

Nick said...

Man, that sounds cool!! Kind of like a James Bond sort of mission?