At the top of one local daily newspaper’s website this morning: “Note from the Publisher: The Morning News was without electricity Tuesday and was unable to publish a print edition. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will publish the Wednesday and Thursday editions on Wednesday and deliver them together on Thursday. Our web edition is up to date.”
This, it should go without saying, doesn’t help people without power and internet.
I know the other (competing) newspaper company (which I used to work for) had to drive to one specific plant to print all the various newspapers and editions, but they did publish print editions today. It looks, however, like that company’s website is down today.
At our house in central Siloam Springs, we’ve been without power for
15 21 hours and counting. The temperature inside has been as low as 48 degrees. We’re hearing reports (online — accessed at someone else’s house, who has power and DSL (the cable internet is out for perhaps all of town?) and via the radio station that’s still transmitting) from power companies in the surrounding area (such as SWEPCO and Carroll Electric), but we can’t find out anything from the local electric department.
Apparently Siloam Springs Electric Department is telling local media outlets they’re too busy to talk (I’ve heard this from multiple sources).
Editorializing: This is not a good policy.
The Siloam newspaper this morning quotes City Administrator David Cameron as saying: “Electric crews were staying on top of restoring power; however, [they] have moved into the ‘damage control’ phase of the storm. This consists of clearing streets from downed power lines, atop houses, etc.”
The article continues: “Other city crews are working to keep the streets clear of trees and ice.”
I have no doubt that city crews are working hard, and I know they’re competent.
Siloam Springs Electric Department has requested help from other crews. They’re not alone; one of the other local power companies (I can’t remember which one, but probably all are in a similar situation) requested help from I think 40 other places.
Siloam has two emergency shelters open, at the National Guard Armory on Main and Lincoln streets (Red Cross), and at Assembly of God church (Genesis House).
This (again from the Herald-Leader) isn’t encouraging: “The armory is being activated for those that will see extended power outages,” Cameron said. (Emphasis added.)
On the television news at 6 p.m. last night (the station was without power for the 5 p.m. broadcast, and we were without power for the 10 p.m. broadcast), a long-time area resident said this was without a doubt the worst ice storm he’d seen. He cited the 2001 ice storm and the much-worse 1978 ice storm, declaring this one much worse again. We remember the spring 2007 storm, which was much milder; it hurt much plant life simply because it transpired so late in the year (March or April?).
The official word from the city of Siloam Springs when we called this afternoon: ‘There is no word. We’re issuing no statement.’
This part goes without saying: Trees are down, power lines are down. Along with prayers for the utility workers and other area residents (and a continuing lack of wind), I’m mourning the loss of so many magnificent trees. I’m trying to imagine what the town landscape will look like once all the trees are taken care of.
I’d add photos, but that would take more time, and this was ready to post at 10:30 this morning, until my location at the time lost power and internet. I’m tired.