COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (JANUARY 25, 2021) – Ameren Illinois activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday morning in preparation for a winter storm which is forecast to dump snow and ice across central Illinois. The EOC is staffed around-the-clock to coordinate service restoration, crew mobilization, and communication.
David Wakeman, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services for Ameren Illinois, said while snow poses driving challenges for crews during a winter storm, ice and wind are the more frequent causes of winter power outages.
“Ice storms are particularly challenging from a power restoration perspective," Wakeman said. "Significant ice build-up combined with below freezing temperatures and strong winds can wreak havoc on our power lines, transformers and other equipment. Ice accretion of more than a quarter inch is our main concern because that's when we see trees limb snap and fall into our equipment."
Wakeman said activation of the EOC enables the company to place personnel, supplies, and storm restoration equipment in the areas where damage is expected. The company follows a well-defined storm management plan to assess the damage and restore power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.