About 6,000 of the 250,000 customers who lost power in those storms remain without service as of 6 a.m. today. With restoration effort continuing around the clock, Ameren officials said they are still on-track to complete the remaining service restorations today.
Ameren officials are asking any customers in the Metro Area who are still out of power to call AmerenUE by dialing 1-800-552-7583 to report that they are out of power. Customers should also call immediately to report any downed lines. If customers' property was damaged in the storm and requires repairs to the electric service entrance, Ameren reminds customers to have their electrician complete those repairs so the utility can reconnect power.
"We know it is difficult to be without electricity. We appreciate our customers' understanding and patience during these extended outages," said Richard Mark, senior vice president, AmerenUE Missouri Energy Delivery. "We also appreciate the cooperation of emergency response personnel and municipalities to coordinate cleanup efforts and ensure public safety as we restore services to normal."
Mark also commended utility workers for their dedication to restoring power. "I applaud our employees and our visiting and contractor crews for the skill, professionalism and hard work they have demonstrated this week," he said. More than 1,200 people worked for three and one-half days to get customers back in service. Ameren employees from other parts of Illinois and Missouri and contractor crews from across the Midwest assisted in the restoration efforts. Repair work began the afternoon of Aug. 13 as soon as customers began reporting outages. More than 250,000 Metro Area St. Louis customers lost electric service in the wake of this weekend's storms. Into Tuesday, the company had 22 ZIP codes where more than 1,000 customers are out of power, making the task of getting to all those customers even more difficult.
Damage was widespread throughout the St. Louis metro area, with the heaviest damage in West County, North County and St. Louis City. The storm caused extensive tree damage, broken poles and downed wires in addition to the loss of more than 140 distribution feeder circuits\-each supplying power to between 500 and 1,500 customers. By Tuesday evening, most of the outages remained in the West County area.
Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois. With assets of more than $17 billion, Ameren owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 15,000 megawatts.
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.