Exclusive Blunt Interview

1 decade 2 years 4 days ago Wednesday, December 06 2006 Dec 6, 2006 Wednesday, December 06, 2006 10:15:55 AM CST December 06, 2006 in News
"Just to check on people, make sure they have what they need, make sure they don't need a ride somewhere and obviously if they do need a ride,help to facilitate that," the Governor said.

He wasn't quite sure how long their help would be needed.

"If there's a need for this beyond the weekend then obviously we'll work with local authorities to try to meet that need," he said.

As of Saturday afternoon there were still 253,000 Missourians without power.

"To be honest they may be without power for a few days. It will not be an overnight turnaround," Blunt noted.

While some nursing homes were without power the governor stated that everyone in those nursing homes have been relocated.

Ameren is bring in 2,000 linemen from outside the area to help, but the governor said they could have some problems of their own.

"Obviously those people have to travel what can be some pretty treacherous and bad roads so it's taking a while to get those linemen here." He continued, "They are obviously concerned about the linemen themselves in terms of wind chill and working in extremely cold temperatures but Ameren has assured me that they are doing everything than can to restore power as quickly as possible."

Blunt said he's spent the past two days traveling the roads.

"I've actually traveled a few hundred miles since the storm hit and it's pretty bad all across the state," he said. "I've been caught in some of the same traffic jams that other Missourians have been frustrated by, but if you get on the roads in these conditions you can expect delays on any sort of lengthy travels."

While the Department of Transportation is working to clear to the state highways, Blunt noted, "If you don't really need to travel then obviously you shouldn't travel."

While at the time of the interview both interstates were open, however Blunt made it clear, "That doesn't mean if you get on the interstates you might not experience a delay or that their might not be a closure especially as the temperatures begin to fall again this evening." He added, "Often a safe looking road really isn't a safe road."

Blunt expressed satisfaction with the way the state is handling the situation. Noting that the National Guard was ready to go before there were any requests from local governments.

"This is a real challenge and all the state agencies are working together." And he says they've remained ahead of the requests from the local governments.

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