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Columbia paid thousands in mutual aid for widespread power outages

The city of Columbia paid thousands of dollars to other cities that assisted with widespread power outages during January’s historic snowstorm.

Lissie Wade, a community relations specialist with Columbia Water & Light, confirmed the city paid a total of $21,438.14 for mutual aid to four cities:

City of Waynesville: $2,435.22

City of Palmyra: $3,729.84

City of Rolla: $5,061.41

City of Macon: $10,211.67

Nearly 10,000 customers lost power the weekend of the snowstorm.

A former assistant director of Columbia Water & Light told ABC 17 News after the storm that with a fully staffed electric utility, the city may have been able to handle the snowstorm without the help of other cities. Former leaders of Columbia Water & Light have warned about staff shortages. As of January, the department currently had 10 journeyman line workers and 11 foremen, which is below the usual benchmarks the city tries to maintain.

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