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Springfield weathers the storm, wraps up power restoration

 Lineman making repairs
IBEW 193

Springfield officials announced Monday that power is finally being restored to all areas after a derecho caused widespread damage June 29.\

The damage was seen across the community and neighboring towns. The amount of trees and branches down also slowed progress.

City Water, Light and Power Utility Engineer Doug Brown said the utility replaced 1,000 pieces of equipment, from poles to transformers, while using thousands of feet of wire and handling over 70,000 calls.

Brown said as the final customers are brought back on line, CWLP crews will continue working on repairs to ensure the system remains reliable. Among the most complicated fixes were for the area along South Dirksen, where businesses like the Crowne Plaza hotel, were forced to close. Work at those locations was continuing late Monday. Brown pointed out crews also were attending to additional outages that occurred Monday, which had nothing to do with the storm.

Brown estimates the total cost of the storm response to the utility at nearly $20-million. The city is planning a request for FEMA disaster relief.

City leaders talked about how the departments worked together. From police and fire to public works.

"A lot of the directors were brand new, but we all learned very quickly that Thursday evening (June 29) in the Emergency Operations Center," said Misty Buscher, who took over the job in May. She said it was "all hands on deck."

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