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Ameren encourages customers to prepare for sustained rainfall and potential flooding

Follow important electrical flood tips to stay safe

ST. LOUIS (May 2, 2024) – With rounds of rainfall forecast in the area over the next several days and flood warnings, Ameren is encouraging its customers to use extreme caution if they encounter flooding around their homes, businesses, or communities. The potential for rivers and streams to flood is a major concern, so customers are encouraged to stay alert.

“As often occurs during the spring, quick outbursts of heavy rainfall or sustained rain over several days can lead to flooding and the potential for safety issues”, said Launders Wince, senior director, regional operations, Ameren Missouri. “Electricity and water can be a dangerous combination that causes a myriad of safety issues for customers."

The prospect of an electrical accident may not be at the top of your mind when you’re dealing with a flooded basement or backyard, but pausing to think about how the water may be near electric service or how you are interacting with both water and electricity can keep you and your family safe.

Ameren's top 6 tips to help keep customers safe during spring storms:

  1. Never step into a flooded basement or area where water may still be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
  2. Don’t attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. Instead, call Ameren Missouri at 800.552.7583 or Ameren Illinois at 1.800.755.5000 to shut off power at the meter. 
  3. Keep electric tools and equipment at least 10 feet away from wet surfaces. Do not use electric yard tools if it’s raining or the ground is wet.
  4. If an electrical appliance has been in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used. Similarly, have a qualified electrician repair any damaged electrical equipment.
  5. If you see flooding around your home or business, call Ameren to have the electricity turned off before the water reaches electrical service equipment. There is also a chance that service may be proactively turned off at the request of local authorities when flood waters threaten a community.
  6. Consider having ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) professionally installed on outlets. These safety devices can cut off power instantly if there’s a problem. GFCIs are recommended for outdoor outlets and outlets near wet areas of the home, such as the kitchen, bath and laundry room.

In addition, operating a vehicle during flooding can cause safety issues on roadways. Never attempt to drive through a flooded area. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, a foot of water will cause most vehicles to float, and 2 feet of rushing water can sweep away a vehicle.

If your vehicle strikes a utility pole or you witness a crash involving a utility pole and a downed power line, stay in your vehicle and immediately call 911 to report.

Ameren provides a variety of safety tips for customers, including severe weather preparedness, how to be safe around water and electricity, natural gas leak detection, electrical fire safety, call before you dig, and general safety reminders. All of Ameren's customer safety tips can be found at Ameren.com/Safety.

About Ameren Corporation
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric transmission and distribution service and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Missouri provides electric generation, transmission and distribution services, as well as natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops, owns and operates rate-regulated regional electric transmission projects in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. For more information, visit Ameren.com, or follow us at @AmerenCorp, Facebook.com/AmerenCorp, or LinkedIn.com/company/Ameren.