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Restoring Columbia power proving challenging

Nearly 300 customers were still without power in Columbia Thursday night, but restoring power proved to be a challenge.

Spring Valley was one of the neighborhoods still without power off West Broadway.

The city doubled down on its efforts to bring back power. It doubled the amount of crews working and the amount of hours in the work day for those crews.

Columbia Water and Light said the trees knocked down in the storm have taken a long time to clear away from the powerlines.

For Dean Goodale, the sound of a chainsaw is sweet.

ABC 17 asked if he’s sick of the sound, to which he replied, “No, working the chainsaws just means something’s getting done. So, chainsaws, bring it on.”

He and his family were without power for three days.

At the corner of Spring Valley and Crown Point off West Broadway, Goodale knows his house could be the last one to get power when all the work is finished.

“I have good hopes that, yeah, that the crew over there can get that tree cut up and get that pole up, then complete at least the run that goes through our part of the neighborhood and we can get electricity back.”

The enormous trees sitting on the power lines have slowed the city’s process of putting up new ones. Plus, the ravine where the poles were placed mean the city can’t get large trucks back to replace them, meaning crews have to essentially install the poles by hand.

Columbia Water and Light Assistant Director Ryan Williams said, “While modern technology has certainly made us capable of restoring things that are relatively simple to get to a lot faster, sometimes we have to revert back to the manual method.”

“We’re hoping to have everybody back on by the weekend. Keeping all of our fingers crossed and knocking on wood.”

Williams said utility crews from Macon, Fulton, and Independence are in Columbia to help them clear trees and restore power.

Columbia Water and Light said repairs will continue Thursday night and into early Friday if necessary. It’s still unclear when Fairview Rd. between Broadway and Ash will open again.

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