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Road and Bridge clean up storm aftermath

The St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department had crews out all day Thursday after a rash of storms blew through the area leaving trees and limbs down on roadways.

Thursday afternoon Road and Bridge Supervisor Clay Copeland said the county dispatch service had been receiving calls all afternoon after a morning storm left some roads blocked.

“We have had more than 10 different areas where we have trees down, and four or five areas where roads were blocked,” Copeland said. “We had one road with a tree tangled in an electric line and it took the pole down. Ameren UE has to resolve that issue before we can even touch it. It was off Best Road just outside of Farmington off Route F.”

Copeland said they the policy is they won’t touch anything near electric lines until they are repaired.

“Once the storm moved through we started getting calls from the 911 dispatch center,” Copeland explained. “We had crews out addressing those issues and expect to be working all day and possibly well into evening if a second set of storms comes through the area.”

Copeland added the people were most likely trapped at home off Best Road because it is a dead end road and they didn’t have a way out.

“We had a crew on standby out there waiting for Ameren to come out and repair the lines,” said Copeland. “Once they make the repair and get the pole back up, then the crew will start clearing the tree out of the road.”

Crews from the St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department stage off Best Road waiting for Ameren UE to repair down lines.

Crews from the St. Francois County Road and Bridge Department stage off Best Road waiting for Ameren UE to repair down lines.

He said they were scheduled to work on different pipe projects, road work and asphalting on Thursday, until the storms rolled through and wreaked havoc.

“When the storm came through we had to pull (crews). They dropped what they were doing to address the emergency,” Copeland said. “It’s slowing down the work we had planned for today. Any time this occurs, when we have storms roll through or have these emergencies, we basically drop what we are doing and address them.”

“Once they are cleaned up we will go back to our normal work,” said Copeland.

A large tree fell into power lines and across Best Road on Thursday morning leaving some nearby residents both without power and stranded on the dead-end road for a time.

A large tree fell into power lines and across Best Road on Thursday morning leaving some nearby residents both without power and stranded on the dead-end road for a time.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or rbronaugh@dailyjournalonline.com

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