JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- AmerenUE has brought in 640 lineworkers from outside the area to assist central Missouri crews with power restoration following the recent ice storm. Of the additional lineworkers, 470 are from other utilities or contractors -- some from as far away as North Carolina. AmerenUE reports 500 tree-trimming crews are also on the scene, and an additional 200 lineworkers are heading toward the area.
As of this morning, about 20,000 AmerenUE customers from the Jefferson City area through the Lake of the Ozarks remained without power -- down from a peak of 25,000 at the height of the storm. An additional 5,300 customers were without power in the Montgomery, Warren, Lincoln and Pike county area, which was also hit hard by the storm -- down from a peak of 19,500.
"We've actually restored service to tens of thousands of customers, but with ice forming and reforming on lines and tree limbs, some people have lost power and had it restored again multiple times," said Larry Merry, manager of AmerenUE's Central Ozarks Division. "For that reason, some customers have shown up in the outage totals a number of times."
In addition to all the additional personnel AmerenUE has brought into the area, Merry says the company has brought in three "storm trailers" -- each stocked with more than $100,000 in equipment such as crossarms, insulators, wire, and a range of other gear needed to make storm repairs. Multiple shipments of utility poles have also been delivered to the area.
"The ice has begun melting and we're pouring resources into the area to help get everyone's power back on soon," Merry adds.
AmerenUE advises customers that the company is responsible for repairing or replacing the service line that connects to a customer's home or business, and for the meter that plugs into the customer's meter box, but customers are responsible for any repairs that may be necessary to the components that make up their electric service entrance. These components include the service bracket or pipe riser which protects the connection point for lines entering the building, the weatherhead, which keeps rain and other material out of the pipe riser, the pipe riser itself, and the meter box. If the service entrance facilities are damaged, the customer must have an electrical contractor make necessary repairs to that equipment before AmerenUE can reconnect their service.
A diagram that shows what these components look like is available on the Ameren Web site. Go to http://www.ameren.com/. Then, under "Storm Center," click on "Outage Information," and then on "Maintaining Your Service."
AmerenUE serves 1.2 million electric customers and 125,000 natural gas customers in Missouri. It is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Altogether, the Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
CONTACT: Mike Cleary, +1-573-681-7137, firstname.lastname@example.org, for AmerenUE
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/