Ameren Illinois crews have mobilized and are working to restore power to thousands of customers impacted by thunderstorms that rolled through the Metro East area and portions of southern Illinois earlier this evening. Approximately 30,000 customers are out of power, primarily in Madison and St. Clair Counties.
John Barud, Senior Director of Division Operations, Ameren Illinois, said the company had monitored the weather system and placed employees and electric utility contractor crews on alert status. Ameren Illinois activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 7:30 p.m. today to aid in the restoration and coordinate logistics.
"Our crews quickly assessed the damage and are in the field now making repairs to critical infrastructure," said Barud. "Several sub-transmission lines were damaged and our focus is on getting those larger systems back on line first so we can restore power for the greatest number of customers in the shortest period of time. Outage restoration status will be provided to individual customers as soon as crews are able to visually inspect the damages."
Ameren Illinois reminds customers that personal safety and storm preparedness must be taken seriously.
“Safety is our first and foremost concern when severe weather strikes,” said Richard J. Mark, President of Ameren Illinois. “The most important safety rule is to stay clear of downed power lines and always call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 or ‘911’ if you see downed lines. Assume all downed power lines are energized. Stay inside, especially at night because you may walk into an energized power line. Stay clear of brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines.”
In addition to the safety and outage information available at AmerenIllinois.com, customers and media can receive timely updates on outage restoration by following the Ameren Illinois news feed at Twitter.com/AmerenIllinois and Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit http://AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
# # #