St. Louis Public Radio News
6:08 pm
Tue May 12, 2009

Power outage at Mo. Capitol

Jefferson City, MO – The seat of power in Missouri was without power for about an hour today.

The State Capitol, the Governor's Mansion and a few other buildings in downtown Jefferson City were plunged into darkness. Microphones in the Missouri House went silent in the middle of debate.

Speaker Ron Richard (R, Joplin) kept his chamber in session despite the blackout.

"I (had) kind of been wanting to do this anyway, do the old-time way of taking tally votes and do it without microphones...however, there's about 50 amendments, 40 amendments, then we've got amendments to the amendments, and our members, they're not used to tracking that (by) hand," Richard said.

The lights came back on just before 1:PM, but Richard had the House stand at ease to give office computers time to power back up.

The Senate, on the other hand, stood at ease right after the outage began.

A spokesperson for AmerenUE says a large, black snake got into an underground wiring area near the Amtrak station and shorted out two cables.