With rain and thunderstorm warnings, watches and advisories issued for much of central Illinois, the Ameren Illinois Emergency Operations Center (EOC) declared a weather alert and activated at 12:30 p.m.
With the opening of the EOC, Ameren Illinois is taking the following actions:
Weather conditions are being monitored for any changes that may impact service.
Customer safety tips
“Safety is our priority every day of the year, but it takes on added significance when severe weather strikes,” said Richard Mark, president and CEO, Ameren Illinois.
“The first safety rule is to stay away from downed power lines and always call us or ‘911’ if you see downed lines,” Mark said. “Never go outside during a power outage after sunset because you won't be able to see a downed power line that could still be energized and dangerous. Stay away from brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines.”
The measures customers should take to prepare for a power outage or loss of natural gas service are similar to those needed to prepare for any emergency situation.
Customers who use portable generators during a power outage must remember that they can become deadly when not used properly. Those who install a portable generator should also install a safety disconnect switch to prevent the electricity produced by the generator from feeding back into the utility lines. Never plug a generator directly into an outlet to power a home.
Back feeding electricity into utility lines thought to be de-energized could result in damage to property. More seriously, back fed power poses an unseen hazard to utility personnel who are working on the power lines. In the event power is back fed into downed power lines, anyone coming into contact with those lines could be seriously injured or killed.
Portable generators also must never be operated inside a garage or other building as generator engines produce deadly carbon monoxide.
Reporting an Outage
If your power goes out, call Ameren Illinois at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and always call as soon as possible to report a downed line or natural gas odor. The Ameren Illinois contact number is 1-800-755-7000. In addition to the safety and outage information available at IllinoisOutage.com, customers and media can receive timely updates on outage restoration by following the Ameren Illinois news feed at twitter.com/AmerenIllinois.
Additional Safety Tips – Flooding
Electrical safety advice:
In the event of flooding, Ameren Illinois will turn off electrical power to a home or business at the request of a customer. Contact Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have the power turned off when flood waters are likely to reach the main electrical panel box. Ameren Illinois also will turn power off at the request of local authorities.
Natural gas safety advice:
If flood waters reach or are likely to reach the controls of a natural gas furnace, water heater or other appliance
(generally, the controls are located at the bottom of the appliance), call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have the natural gas service turned off. Ameren Illinois also will turn off natural gas service at the request of local authorities.
Ameren Illinois recommends these actions after a flood:
Additional safety information is available at IllinoisOutage.com and at SafeElectricity.org. Additional flood recovery information is available from the University of Illinois Extension at web.extension.illinois.edu/disaster/.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois. Our mission is to meet the energy needs of our customers in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com.
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