The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

It's A Bitter-Sweet Affair!

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

28 February 2007

It seems whenever a disaster comes around, it comes with a blessing as well, and that is true in this weekend's ice storm and clean-up as well.

There always are so many good people coming to your rescue, such as the out-of-state people who came to assist AmerenIP take care of the huge number of down-lines in our area. It was windy and cold as well.

Besides losing heat, the Stronghurst Water plant lost water when a tree fell on lines that led to the plant and shorted out the breakers.

Our two city workers went to work, working practically all night, buying parts and getting it ready for the utility men when they arrived.

Originally they had thought it would be 48 hours, said Stronghurst board member Lawrence Neff, but because of the men's due diligence, the water was back on by 10:00 the next morning.

The Stronghurst Fire Department opened up their meeting room for a shelter, and a few from Raritan, I was told, used it for awhile.

The school at West Central had refrigerator trucks come in to store some of their food to minimize their loss.

My husband and I had left early Saturday morning to help move our son to Fort Wayne, Indiana where ice storms were predicted, but we found the storms were behind us all the way there and we had clear driving. We returned on Sunday evening around 9:30 p.m. to a warm house, a yard full of fallen branches, and water in the basement and 6 or 7 ceiling tiles down in the Stronghurst Quill office due to frozen ice on a a small part of the roof.

Ameren said 3 or 4 different transmission lines were knocked out, but seeing so many pitch in at a time like this, and remembering river floodings, Hurricane Katrina, and 911 makes us realize how very fortunate we are.

Thank you to the crews who came to our area to help, to those who fed them meals, to the many who worked extra hours to get things up and running, and thanks to each person who offered their help in any way to neighors, churches, family and friends.

And a special thank you to AmerenIP for working around the clock to get our heat back on.