Ameren Illinois field crews and support staff have been actively engaged in restoration services following a line of storms that brought thunderstorms and high winds across the northern portion of the Ameren Illinois service territory Wednesday afternoon.
Ameren Illinois activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 7:00 p.m. to coordinate service restoration, logistical support and communications. The LaSalle area experienced the most damage, where 17 poles are broken and more than 40 wires are down. The peak outage count of 7,055 customers in the LaSalle area occurred at 6:00 p.m. Ameren Illinois has engaged both internal personnel and contract crews in the Division I area restoration which includes Galesburg, LaSalle, Kewanee and Peoria. The peak outage count for the Division I area occurred at 5:00 p.m., with 17,884 customers impacted. The EOC will continue to monitor the situation and assign resources in affected areas as needed.
Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services for Ameren Illinois, explained the company’s storm restoration process. “We first assess the damage and deploy the personnel and supplies necessary to begin the job of service restoration,” said Pate. “Our first priority will be to correct potentially life-threatening situations, such as downed power lines and to restore service to hospitals and other critical facilities that are without power. We then implement power restoration plans focused on restoring power for the greatest number of customers in the shortest length of time.”
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 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.”
Ameren Illinois customers without power should call 800-755-5000 to report an outage, log onto the website at AmerenIllinois.com, or report their outage using the mobile phone app. Customers who report their outage are able to sign up for outage alerts to receive text or email restoration updates. Learn more at Ameren.com/alerts. Detailed safety and outage information is available AmerenIllinois.com, on Facebook and Twitter.
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 AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.