AmerenUE has dispatched approximately 600 additional lineworkers, tree-trimming contractors and other personnel to Southeast Missouri to help local crews restore power to thousands of customers affected by the ice storm that struck the area Monday. Most of the additional personnel are already on site, while the rest are expected to arrive this evening. AmerenUE has made arrangements for the arrival of nearly 200 more workers on Wednesday.
While the company has poured resources into the area, difficult conditions mean that the majority of customers will be restored on Wednesday. However, restoration efforts will continue through Thursday.
As of 4 p.m. today, more than 15,000 AmerenUE customers in Southeast Missouri were without power, primarily in an area extending from about Dexter through Cape Girardeau to Charleston. Jean Mason, manager of AmerenUE’s SEMO Division, says power restoration efforts are being hampered by the fact that a heavy coating of ice remains on trees and power lines, causing new outages to continue to occur.
AmerenUE has sent in two “storm trailers” stocked with materials needed to make repairs, along with a Mobile Command Center to help coordinate power restoration. An additional storm trailer is also being dispatched to the area, joining one that the company sent Monday as a precaution before the brunt of the storm arrived.
“Clearly, this was an unusually severe storm, and we appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get their power back on,” Mason says. “Our top priority is the safety of our employees and the public. People can help by making sure they report any downed power lines and warning others to stay away from these lines until repair crews can get there. To contact AmerenUE, call us at 1-800-552-7583.”
A full description of AmerenUE’s power restoration process, along with advice on how customers can cope with outages is available under “Storm Center” on the Ameren Web site: www.ameren.com.
With 1.2 million customers, AmerenUE is Missouri’s largest electric utility and third largest distributor of natural gas. It is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren, through its subsidiaries serves 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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CONTACT: Mike Cleary, +1-573-681-7137 or Tim Fox, +1-314-554-3120, both of AmerenUE