Ameren Illinois crews worked throughout the evening to restore service to more than 120,000 Ameren Illinois customers. Twenty hours into restoration (8:00 a.m. today) approximately 28,000 customers remain without service. More than 1,000 Ameren co-workers and 350 additional contractor resources are working to repair damages.
The largest area without power is the greater Peoria-area of Washington, Morton, Metamora, Pekin, East Peoria, Groveland, Roanoke, Washington and Eureka. Areas including Bloomington, Lincoln , Danville, and Brookport also were hard-hit. But scattered outages were caused by downed poles and other storm-related damage throughout the territory. One Ameren Illinois storm trailer is located in Morton, IL. Ameren Illinois has deployed contractor crews, so mutual-aid assistance from other utilities has not been requested.
The storm began working its way through the Ameren Illinois territory at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, causing more than 148,388 customer outages at the peak. Ameren Illinois activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by this storm. Our crews have made tremendous progress in 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 when the remaining outages will be restored once the full extent of the damage to the distribution system is known.”
A mobile customer service center will be set up at Five Points in Washington. Three customer service representatives will be available for Washington customers to report outages in person. We still encourage all customers without power or natural gas service to contact our customer service number at 800-755-5000. Media outlets are encouraged to follow @AmerenIllinois on Twitter for real-time updates throughout the day.
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.
· 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.
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 downstate 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. Follow us on Twitter - @AmerenIllinois.
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