Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

MPUA coordinates mutual aid assistance for city hit by storms

Crews of lineworkers from Missouri public power utilities Nixa Utilities and Columbia Water & Light recently responded to assist a Missouri city’s municipal utility staff in power restoration and repair work after high winds uprooted trees and snapped power poles, causing power outages in the City of Lebanon.

The work was coordinated through the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA).

MPUA Public Information Officer Kerry Cordray said that the City of Lebanon, Mo., reported there initially were about 2,200 customers without power. The storm hit about 10 p.m. Tuesday night (April 30) and Lebanon’s personnel began responding to outages that night.

Nixa Utilities, Columbia Water & Light and Lebanon are all member utilities of MPUA.

Lebanon made its call to the MPUA mutual aid network the next morning, Wednesday, May 1, and the mutual aid network was immediately activated. Personnel from Nixa Utilities were on site at Lebanon by noon and Columbia Water & Light crews were there by about 4 p.m. 

Four lineworkers from Columbia and three from Nixa, equipped with bucket trucks, digger trucks, and other work vehicles, worked with City of Lebanon utility crews to restore power.

Power was fully restored by the morning of Friday, May 3, except for a few customers where damages were the responsibility of a customer. 

Nixa and Columbia Crews were both released around mid-day on May 3. 

Cordray said that no other mutual aid calls came in from the storm events of April 30.

MPUA’s mutual aid program allows city utility workers to help during widespread 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.

MPUA has 119 municipal members in Missouri, Arkansas, and Illinois.