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Ameren Illinois Utilities Prepare for Spring Storms, Offer Tips to Help Customers During Power Outages

DECATUR, PEORIA, SPRINGFIELD, Ill., April 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The arrival of spring can bring thunderstorms and severe weather, and the Ameren Illinois utilities are prepared to ensure that if a storm hits, they can respond as quickly and safely as possible. When severe weather threatens, the utilities prepare for each unique storm situation by monitoring weather conditions, placing field crews and contact centers on alert and readying operating equipment and material.

During and following severe storms, the Ameren Illinois utilities' first priority is to correct potentially life-threatening situations, such as downed power lines or hospitals without power. The utilities then implement carefully designed power restoration plans designed to get power back to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

In restoring electricity, crews begin with high voltage main lines -- those that serve thousands of people. Then they move to lines that can affect hundreds; secondary lines that affect dozens; and finally to service lines at individual homes and businesses.

Throughout the restoration process, the Ameren Illinois utilities maintain contact with state and local emergency management agencies and designated company staff, who keep the news media and public officials up- dated on the status of restoration efforts.

Ameren utilizes "storm trailers" that serve as remote mobile storerooms when significant damage occurs to our electric transmission and distribution systems. The trailers are fully stocked and quickly deployed with everything repair crews might need -- from wire to bolts and nuts. Specially trained employees distribute materials to restoration crews, order new materials and coordinate communications between the mobile storerooms and warehouses. In addition, a mobile communications center serves as a central command from which all of our crews function, cutting response time.

For a full description of how you can prepare for service disruptions during storms, check out the Storm Center on http://www.ameren.com/ .

To report an outage or a natural gas odor contact the Ameren Illinois utilities:

AmerenCILCO: 888-672-5252; AmerenCIPS: 888-789-2477; AmerenIP: 800-755-5000

Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) through its subsidiaries, serves 1.2 million electric and nearly 800,000 natural gas customers in Illinois.

SOURCE: Ameren Corporation

CONTACT: Erica Abbett, +1-314-206-0646, Natalie Hemmer,
+1-217-424-7541, Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, or Neal Johnson,
+1-309-677-5284, all of Ameren Corporation

Web site: http://www.ameren.com/