Ameren Illinois crews and contractors have restored power to 24,373 customers impacted by severe weather that moved through Illinois last night and this morning. The company activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 7:00 a.m. today to coordinate response efforts.
The storm impacted communities in the Metro East, South, and East Central portion of the service territory. Field crews in the Metro East area report heavy damage to the Ameren Illinois electric infrastructure in the region. More than 500 Ameren Illinois employees and contractor personnel are engaged in restoration.
Estimated Restoration Times
Metro East Area
Less than 10,000 customers remain without power in the Metro East region. The region experienced extensive damage, with 45 distribution poles and nearly 500 wires downed. Ameren Illinois will continue to restore customers this evening. A majority of the customers in the heavily damaged areas of Alton, Edwardsville, and Maryville areas will be restored by the end of the day tomorrow. Some areas with extensive, smaller outages may not see their power restored until Tuesday due to severe damage. Ameren Illinois will assess the progress in the morning and may update these restoration times.
Belleville – 9:00 p.m. Tonight
East St. Louis – Midnight Tonight
Centralia – 2:00 a.m. on Monday
Mt. Vernon – 10:00 p.m. Tonight
East Central Illinois
Robinson and Olney Areas – Midnight Tonight
“We understand the challenge that being without power poses to our customers," said Richard Mark, president and Chairman, Ameren Illinois. "I can assure everyone that we are working as quickly as we can to get the power restored. We are dispatching additional crews from outside of the region to assist the more than 500 resources we already have engaged. We encourage customers, especially seniors and those with health concerns, to make alternative plans for shelter if necessary."
Residents are reminded to watch and avoid downed electrical wires. Furthermore, never go outside after sunset during a power outage because you won’t be able to see downed power lines that could still be energized and dangerous. Stay away from brush, downed trees and limbs and any debris that may conceal downed power lines. Call Ameren Illinois at 800-755-5000 to report downed wires.
Hot Weather Safety
Ameren Illinois reminds customers of these hot weather safety tips:
During extremely hot weather, check on friends, neighbors and relatives who may be especially vulnerable to high temperatures, such as those who are older, have medical issues or do not have air conditioning.
Consider going to an air conditioned place during the hottest times of the day.
Options may include the home of a friend or neighbor, a shopping mall or a Public building. Some communities may have temporary cooling centers. Ameren Illinois will provide information on cooling centers as the information becomes available.
In addition to staying as cool as possible, it is important to drink plenty of water or other liquids that do not contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. Never wait until you are thirsty to drink.
Keep shades, curtains and blinds closed during the day to reduce effects of solar heating.
Customers are reminded of the following actions they can take to remain safe:
Call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 as soon as possible to report a downed line, natural gas odor, or an outage.
Stay away from downed power lines because these lines may still be energized. During an outage, individuals are asked to stay indoors after sunset because downed lines may not be visible. Stay away from brush, shrubs and fallen trees that may be hiding these lines.
If your electric service is interrupted, unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.
Media are encouraged to view the new Ameren Illinois outage map for details --outagemap.ameren.com. Updates will be provided throughout the day on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. 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 and Facebook.