Four members of the Board of Public Works' Electric Department are returning a “favor” in behalf of Hannibal. The linemen, plus two trucks, were dispatched to Independence on Friday after that community requested assistance through mutual aid agreements.

Four members of the Board of Public Works’ Electric Department are returning a “favor” in behalf of Hannibal. The linemen, plus two trucks, were dispatched to Independence on Friday after that community requested assistance through mutual aid agreements.

“Apparently they have numerous power outages and a lot of poles on the ground,” said Heath Hall, director of operations for the BPW, in an e-mail Friday.

Sent to Independence, located in western Missouri approximately 212 miles from Hannibal, was a digger truck and bucket truck. The BPW personnel departed about midday Friday.

Hall noted in his e-mail that Independence “was one of the cities that came to our aid in 2013.”

According to the Independence Examiner newspaper, wind gusts of 70 to 80 mph hit Independence during the storm that struck the area overnight Thursday.

Independence Power and Light reported that at one point in the early hours of Friday, an estimated 43,000 of its 55,000 customers were without power.

Earlier this year the BPW Board and City Council approved updating the mutual aid program through the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) to include municipals in Arkansas. The agreement with MPUA allows Hannibal access to the American Public Power Association’s national mutual aid program. It enables Hannibal to receive and give assistance to any public power provider that is part of the program during times of need.

Through this program the BPW received assistance from nine Missouri cities following the May 2013 windstorm.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com .