03/02/12 WSIL-TV: City Crews and Ameren Get to Work
By Fanna Haile-Selassie and Ben Jeffords
Driving down Barnett Street in Harrisburg, you'll see a lot of clean up efforts going on.
"Our goal is to get out here and get the streets cleared, and help get it off the public property, the right-aways for the emergency crews," says Eric Leonberger of Man-Tra-Con.
City clean-up crews wasted no time moving out debris and clearing off the roads. This Man-Tra-Con team has been in Harrisburg for months, still working on flood relief. The city has now switched them over to tornado relief.
"My ground crew's got chainsaws, pole saws, stuff like that," Leonberger explains. "The city has actually got their backhoes and dump trucks out here to load it and haul it out of here."
Just down the street, Ameren linemen are up in buckets, repairing downed lines and getting power back on.
"We've started the day with about 1,500 out here and we've been steadily picking them up, and they're going to continue working throughout the day. In fact, some of the folks from here, we've actually been able to shift over to Ridgway, to help the folks there because things have been converging here pretty well," says Ameren's Director of Operations John Barud.
Barud says the company has 460 workers in damage zones, and says the majority of homes will have power by tonight.
He says, "tomorrow we'll spend getting the rest of them on, getting cleaned up, and by end of day tomorrow, we'll be finished here."
Ameren crews are also working in other areas. Barud says Mound City homes should have power restored by Thursday evening, along with the majority of homes in Harrisburg. He estimates about 80 percent of the homes in Ridgway will have electricity Thursday night.