Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief money is on its way to the Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative to reimburse the coop for expenses during recovery efforts from the major ice storm that hit the region in late January.
According to Myles Smith, Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative manager of member services, the coop will receive $2,021,887.18 from FEMA.
Smith said the 75 percent reimbursement from FEMA is greatly appreciated. "We're very proud and grateful to get what we're going to get," Smith said.
The other 25 percent of the cost the coop will have to come up with, but, Smith said, the coop is hoping to get help from the state and from grants to recoup some of their losses from the ice storm.
Smith said the ice storm affected the southern tier of Missouri, which included Oregon, Howell and Ozark counties. He said at least 400 poles were downed during the ice storm. The coop also has to fix blown fuses, crossarms, post insulator, meter bases, transformers, breakers and several miles of downed primary and secondary lines. Smith said damage from the ice storm was a "heavy cost" to the coop.
"The most important thing for people to remember is that an infrastructure that took 70 years to build, Mother Nature took down in a matter of a few hours," Smith said.