Springfield prepares for potential ice storm while recalling lessons from 2007

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (kY3) - This week marks ten years since much of the Ozarks was paralyzed by ice. Since the ice storm of 2007, Springfield City Utilities and area residents have learned a lot about being prepared. Many are getting prepared, as there is a possibility of ice later this week.

At CU, they've been watching the approaching weather system since last week. But they've been working on improvements to help in another ice storm ever since 2007.

Like many, for Leonard and Nita Clough, the ice storm of 2007 is unforgettable.

"The noise, and just waiting for something to hit the house," Nita Clough recalled on Monday.

They were without power for 13 days and had countless tree limbs to deal with after the storm.

"Three trees fell over the fence into my yard," Leonard Clough said.

After seven days, they gave in and bought a generator, and they still have it.

"I start it about once every couple months to make sure that it's going to run," Leonard said.

They also keep food on hand and will make sure they have water too, come the end of the week.

"If we know in advance, we'll just pray over our property and our house and let Jesus take care of us. We don't really have a problem. We're not worried about it any more, but we're still ready. We're ready for it," Leonard said.

City Utilities of Springfield also is more prepared. In the last 10 years, it's gained a high-volume call system, a mutual aid agreement to bring in more help faster, installed a lot of new poles and equipment, and gotten much more aggressive on tree trimming.

"Going into what could potentially be this weekend, we feel good that we're ready to respond to it, and also that the system is much stronger than it was 10 years ago," said Joel Alexander, a CU spokesman.

Managers are making sure their central dispatch is all set, should another big one arrive.

"Really, what we're at right now is just 'wait and see what comes our way' and we'll hope that it's a rain event, is what we're hoping for," said Alexander.

CU says, if customers lose power in an ice storm or any time, it's critical to call and report the outage, even if they believe a neighbor called. The CU outage reporting line, which can handle thousands of calls an hour, is 1-888-863-9001.