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Dozens Trickle Into Shelters in West Plains, Gainesville

Many residents in and around West Plains are huddled around fireplaces and furnaces, waiting for utility crews to restore power to their homes and businesses. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Several of those who have made it out of their driveways and down ice-covered, rural highways are gathering in the First United Methodist Church, which is functioning as a temporary shelter operated by the American Red Cross. The address of the church is 503 West Main Street in West Plains.One of the Red Cross volunteer workers there, Sherrie Brannan, said 26 individuals were signed in as of Wednesday afternoon, and the shelter is expecting several more to trickle in Wednesday evening. Brannan said they range from infants to elderly residents who need medication and had trouble keeping warm.She added that local utility crews are working to restore power to those without electricity. They are battling fallen tree limbs that have cracked under the weight of a half inch of ice.

West Plains is in south-central Missouri, about 30 miles north of the Arkansas-Missouri state line. Another Red Cross shelter opened Wednesday in Gainesville Missouri. That shelter is at the Gainesville High School, located at 160 Bulldog Drive.

Those wishing to volunteer at the shelters can call toll free 1-866-206-0256, Extension 200, or visit the local Red Cross chapter’s website, www.redcross-ozarks.org.For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.