In AmerenUE's metropolitan St. Louis service area, Ameren has now restored power to more than 55,000 customers, with about 55,000 customers in the St. Louis Metro area remaining without service as of 8 a.m., April 3. That number is half the total of 110,000 customers at 9:00 p.m. yesterday evening. In total, Ameren has now restored service to 154,000 customers in Missouri and Illinois.
The company Web site www.ameren.com carries near- real-time information on outage numbers in its "Storm Center."
Damage was widespread throughout the St. Louis metro area. The storm caused extensive tree damage, broken poles and downed wires in addition to the loss of dozens of distribution feeder circuits\-each supplying power to between 500 and 1,500 customers.
Ameren expects to make significant progress in restoring service throughout the day. However, at this time the company can not say when all power will be restored.
"We appreciate our customers' patience during these extended outages," said Richard Mark, senior vice president, AmerenUE Missouri Energy Delivery. "Our employees are working hard to restore service as promptly as possible, and we are working closely with city officials and emergency response personnel to coordinate restoration efforts and ensure customer safety."
Repair work began the afternoon of April 2 as soon as customers began reporting outages. Ameren employees from other parts of Illinois and Missouri have been joined by employees from Kansas City Power and Light and Empire District Electric, as well as contract crews from across the Midwest in the restoration efforts.
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.