Ice storm knocks out power in Newton County communities

Todd G. Higdon

Here we go again.

The towns of Newtonia and Stark City are without power after an ice storm hit Southwest Missouri on Sunday — nearly 11 months after the January 2007 ice storm that crippled the region for up to two weeks.

Newtonia Mayor Dee Wormington said the electrical power went off shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

“I pray to the good Lord that we don’t go without power for another 11 days,” said Wormington, referring to the length of outage the Newtonia area suffered in January. “I don’t think I could handle it.”

Wormington, along with other residents, contacted Empire District Electric after the outage.

“At this time, the people up north are getting it a whole lot worse than we are,” Wormington said.

The mayor said the small community is prepared for an ice storm this time around.

“Believe it or not, we do have a contingency plan,” she said. “We have Newtonia City Hall set up, and we had gas lines put in and a gas heater, a gas stove that we can hook up to so that we can have showers, and everything else if it becomes necessary.”

Wormington said residents would have to bring their own food and their own kots to stay at city hall. The Newtonia City Hall could accommodate 10 to 15 people in a town of a little more than 200 residents.

Less than a mile south is Stark City, where Mayor Ed Schultz said, “Empire District is taking reports on who is out, and they have not told us what the problem is.”

Schultz said the Stark City Fire Department has generators, and is set up to cook food for residents if there is a need.

“I am getting ready to start up my generator,” he said. “I can hear others starting up their generators.”

Schultz said he had not seen any downed power lines.

“We are just sitting around waiting for awhile to see if (the power) comes back,” Schultz said.

Granby Mayor Donna Fullerton said her city has not experienced any power outages as of 8 p.m. Sunday.

Neosho Daily News