With a new round of rain and thunderstorm throughout the evening, Ameren Illinois Emergency Operations Center (EOC) again opened and crews worked throughout the evening to restore more scattered outages.
With the threat of more storms predicted across Illinois, the Ameren Illinois EOC reactivated at 7:00 p.m. on Friday May 31.
The storm began working its way through the Ameren Illinois territory at about 7:00 p.m. Thursday. At its peak, more than 32,000 customers were without power overnight Friday and Saturday morning. Hardest hit were the areas of Maryville/Belleville/Alton, Decatur, and Gilman. But scattered outages were caused by downed poles and other storm-related damage throughout the territory. Ameren Illinois crews, including more than 700 co-workers, restored almost 23,500 outages throughout the night and early morning. The Ameren Illinois storm trailers will be deployed to Gilman and Maryville, and mutual-aid assistance from other utilities has been requested.
“Our crews are dedicated to restoring power to our customers as quickly and safely as possible,” said Richard Mark, president and CEO, Ameren Illinois. “We have dispatched field personnel to assess damage and restore service, and will have a better idea on estimated restoration times once the full extent of the damage to the distribution system is known.”
Customer safety tips
· Stay away from downed power lines and always call our customer service number, 800-755-5000 if you see downed lines
· 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.
· If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.
Customers who use portable generators during a power outage must remember that they can become deadly when not used properly. The National Electric Code (NEC) requires those who install a portable generator to also install a safety disconnect switch 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 1-800-755-5000. 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.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs 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 or find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois.
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