The hub of Hannibal's economic district was essentially shut down Tuesday afternoon because of a lack of electricity.
According to Courier-Post Editor Mary Lou Montgomery, River Bend Shopping Center, Huck Finn Shopping Center and Steamboat Bend Shopping Center were closed, as were a majority of businesses along U.S. 61 (McMaster's Avenue). An exception was Walgreens, which was utilizing a generator to meet its power needs.
Montgomery counted five tractor-trailers in the Steamboat Bend Shopping Center, which she was told by someone familiar with the situation that each was loaded with generators to supply the power necessary to keep refrigeration units in the store operating.
Forty to 45 percent of Hannibal remained without electric service late Tuesday afternoon, roughly 21 hours after a powerful spring storm brought tornadic winds into the community.
"We are hoping to re-energize another 500 (customers) before the evening is up," said Cindy Livesay, public relations coordinator for the Hannibal Board of Public Works.
Service at the city's electrical substations on the South Side and Oakwood were restored around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Livesay. The substations in the Indian Mounds neighborhood and on Ford Street were not yet operational.
"Our priority right now is getting the substations back up and then once the substations are back up we will move to individual services," said Livesay. "The majority of Hannibal, meaning the substations, large commercial businesses and neighborhoods, we hope to have back on at some point tomorrow (Wednesday)."
BPW forces are being augmented by linemen from a handful of other Missouri communities. Electrical linemen from Columbia, Monroe City, Hermann and Palmyra, Independence, Macon and Shelbina were in Hannibal, boosting the total number of people working in the field to around 70.
"We will have the outside help until power is restored," said Livesay.
It was expected that work would end at 10 p.m. Tuesday and resume around 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to Livesay.
"Some of them have going since 7 a.m. yesterday (Monday)," she said.
Many without electrical service may be thinking about using a generator to tide them over until city service is restored.
"Anybody who is trying to hook up to a generator needs to call the board because they need to have their meter pulled and they need to be disconnected from the main line," said Livesay.