PEORIA, SPRINGFIELD and DECATUR , Ill., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 200 Ameren Illinois utility linemen and more than 325 linemen from an Indiana utility and from electrical contractor companies in several states, including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, are working to restore power to about 13,400 customers in Central and West Central Illinois. In addition, the utilities have more than 325 vegetation management workers assigned to the restoration effort.
Continued ice damage has resulted in downed power lines in some areas. The Ameren Illinois utilities warn all residents to stay away from downed power lines, which may still be energized. Residents should stay away from brush and downed trees which may hide downed wires.
The number of outages in these areas had been reduced to about 5,000 Monday evening, but overnight weather conditions pushed the outage numbers back up. Heavy icing has caused tree limbs to fall into electrical lines.
Jacksonville continues to be the hardest hit area. About 6,700 customers are without electrical service in the Jacksonville and other Morgan County communities. Approximately 5,700 customers remain without service primarily in Cass, Menard, Morgan, Pike and Scott counties. Ameren Illinois utilities estimate the majority of the outages will be restored to service by midnight today unless there is further damage due to icing, wind or other weather conditions. Updates will be provided later today.
"We appreciate the impact the loss of electricity service has on our customers," said Bill Prebil, vice president, Ameren Illinois utilities. "This situation has been exacerbated by the fact that some customers have had their service restored only to experience a new outage due to continued weather-related problem.
"All of our personnel are working long hours to safely restore power to all of our customers. We continue to work closely with city officials and emergency response personnel to coordinate restoration efforts and ensure customer safety."
If residents see downed wires, they should immediately call their Ameren Illinois utility (AmerenCIPS -- 1-888-789-2477; AmerenIP -- 1-800-755-5000, and AmerenCILCO -- 1-888-672-5252) or "911."
Customers who have not previously reported a service outage may call their Ameren Illinois utility (AmerenCIPS -- 1-888-789-2477; AmerenIP -- 1-800-755-5000, and AmerenCILCO -- 1-888-672-5252).
Due to the ice storm's extensive damage to the electric service entrances at customers' homes, the services of an electrical contractor may be required to reattach or repair customer-owned facilities, such as the meter base, weatherhead or point of attachment. See http://www.ameren.com/ for a diagram showing this arrangement.
If a customer notices damage to these facilities, the customer should contact an electrical contractor to make repairs so utility workers can safely restore service. Not repairing this damage could delay restoration to the customer's home.
The Ameren Illinois utilities serve 1.2 million electric and more than 840,000 natural gas customers in a 43,700-square-mile area of Illinois.
SOURCE: Ameren Illinois
CONTACT: Erica Abbett, +1-618-236-4329, Natalie Hemmer, +1-217-424-7541,
Neal Johnson, +1-309-677-5284, or Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, all for
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/