Recent Tornadoes Activate MPUA Mutual Aid Crews
Friday, March 24, 2017
Posted by: Ewell Lawson
MPUA recently activated three mutual aid crews for assistance to communities impacted by high winds and tornados. MPUA cities impacted included Odessa, Carrollton, and Perryville. Perryville did not request assistance.
On March 6, 2017, a line of severe thunderstorms marched through eastern Kansas and across Missouri, causing multiple paths of damage. Weather reports that evening included large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes.
One crew from Marshall Municipal Utilities was sent to Carrollton. Two crews from Independence Power and Light were dispatched to assist Odessa. Perryville did not request assistance.
Damage was severe in many areas.
In Odessa, about 40 miles east of Kansas City, an EF3 tornado caused significant damage to the water treatment plant, causing the city to urge water conservation and ultimately advised a full boil order. Numerous distribution utility poles were blown down, but more impactful to city electric service was that KCPL transmission to the city was damaged. City distribution service was restored by the next day.
The Carrollton tornado was rated an EF1 tornado with maximum winds about 110 mph. It touched down about 8:40 p.m. near Missouri 10 southwest of the city and for about six minutes traveled to the northeast for a little over 6 miles. It reached a maximum width of 100 yards. Most of the damage in the city was to commercial businesses. Extensive damage included twenty-seven downed power poles, upended buildings, removed roofs, and downed trees. Restoration took five days.
Almost a week earlier on February 28, 2017, an EF4 tornado touched down in Perryville, Missouri, an MPUA city with natural gas, water, and wastewater services. While no mutual aid was requested for utility matters, one person was killed and there were 12 injured in the Perryville area. At least 100 homes had moderate to major damage, many more were leveled and the National Weather Service said thousands of trees were uprooted.
IS MY CITY READY?
MPUA’s mutual aid program provides the framework for the cooperation that allows neighboring city utilities to help during wide-spread outages in other communities. The assisting cities pay the salaries of their linemen and are then reimbursed by the city receiving assistance. The mutual aid provided between cities may include assistance with water, sewer, natural gas, or electric services.
If your city has not updated its mutual aid agreement and ordinance/resolution since the addition of Arkansas utilities in 2014, or if your city is not signed up for mutual aid, please take the following simple steps:
- Go to MPUA’s website today and download the updated agreements and sample ordinances (http://mpua.org/page/mutualaid);
- Have your updated or new ordinance passed at your next city council or utility board meeting;
- For cities with an electric utility: include participation in the APPA-FEMA mutual aid program in the ordinance. Sign the APPA-NRECA Mutual Aid Agreement and return it to APPA, with a copy sent to MPUA.