There are 10,700 customers in Missouri who remain without power following the severe storms that swept through the bistate area the afternoon of April 2. In AmerenUE's metropolitan St. Louis service area alone, Ameren has now restored power to more than 109,000 customers, with about 6,000 customers in the St. Louis Metro area remaining without service as of 11 a.m., April 4. A total of 95,000 customers in the St. Louis Metro area were affected at the peak of the storm Sunday evening.
In the rest of AmerenUE's Missouri service area, the company has restored power to more than, 20,000 customers, with about 4,700 customers remaining without service as of 11 a.m., April 4. The majority of those outages are in AmerenUE's southern service area, near Caruthersville, Hayti and Potosi.
Ameren officials expect customer service in the St. Louis Metro area will be substantially restored by the end of today. However, scattered isolated outages may persist into tomorrow.
In the bootheel area of southern Missouri, crews are working to rebuild the company's distribution system after tornado-force winds toppled nearly 300 poles and wires.
"Our employees and contractors are working 16-hour days to restore power to all of our customers," says Richard Mark, Ameren senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. "Our priority is to restore service not only in a timely manner, but in the safest way possible."
After the storms had worked their way across Illinois Sunday evening, about 270,000 Ameren customers in Missouri and Illinois were without power.
The company Web site www.ameren.com carries near- real-time information on outage numbers in its "Storm Center."
Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.4 million electric customers and about one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
NOTE TO EDITORS and NEWS DIRECTORS:
Ameren offers these tips for your safety and for coping with power outages:
Watch out for downed wires. If you see a fallen or sagging wire, assume that it is still energized and dangerous. Electric power lines can carry power even after being knocked to the ground. Stay away and warn others to do the same.
Pull some plugs. Turn off or disconnect the refrigerator, freezer, television, air conditioner and other major appliances that would go on automatically when the power is restored. This precaution will avoid overloading a circuit when power comes back on - and the chance of a second interruption. After power is restored, turn them on one at a time.
Keep your food cold. Resist the urge to peek in on the refrigerator and freezer. Food will stay cold or frozen longer if the appliance stays closed.
Flip a switch. Turn one or two light switches on so you will know when your service is restored.