EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. – People in Excelsior Springs are still working to clean up the mess left behind after Friday night’s severe thunderstorms.
Power loss was the biggest problem. At the height, 8,000 of roughly 11,000 residents were without power. Some people’s electricity wasn’t restored until Monday afternoon.
“Almost everybody in the city has lost their food in their fridges and deep freezers because of no power,” Excelsior Springs Fire Chief Joe Maddick said. “Some of the grocery stores are still pretty thin on what they have due to the power outage.”
A FOX4 viewer sent photos of bare shelves at local grocery stores after spoiled and frozen food was thrown away.
To help fill the unexpected need, the town’s fire department, police department and the Redemptorist Center in Kansas City teamed up for food drive for the residents.
According to Maddick, more than 400 people and 133 families came to the food drive to seek aid.
“Lost a lot of food. I just cleaned our refrigerators and freezers this morning. Anytime there’s something like this to help people with food, it’s a blessing,” said Theresa Thompson who lives in Excelsior Springs.
Thompson said her home was without power for two and a half days. She stayed with her daughter in another city. Other people stayed in hotels.
“It’s a little devastating to see your community hit that hard,” Rebekah O’Brien said. “Luckily it could have been a lot worse, and we are safe. That’s the biggest thing for us.”
O’Brien said she was able to get her three small children to the basement before a tree came crashing down from a neighboring yard.
The tree not only took down power lines, but also damaged O’Brien’s deck.
“It was pretty scary. This is the second tree to hit our house. We got very, very lucky. I know a lot of people weren’t as lucky as we were,” she said.
Officials told FOX4 that power was restored in most of the city by Monday afternoon. Crews are still working to address and repair some special cases.
Energy company Ameren is asking that if anyone is still without power to please call and report it at 1-800-552-7583.