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Ameren Illinois Utilities Assign Additional Resources to Southern Illinois to Help Restore Power after Major Ice Storm

CARBONDALE, Ill. and MARION, Ill., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ameren Illinois Utilities have more than 800 people dedicated to restoring power to thousands of AmerenCIPS customers affected by the ice storm that struck Southern Illinois Monday night. That includes nearly 480 Ameren Illinois Utility workers and outside contractor personnel from across the state, as well as more than 320 tree trimmers, management and field checking workers, assigned to the restoration effort.

While the company has dedicated significant resources into the area, difficult weather conditions mean that the majority of customers will be restored on Thursday. Some single outages may extend into Friday.

Since 9 p.m., Tuesday, the company has restored power to approximately 10,000 AmerenCIPS customers. As of 9 a.m. today, approximately 7,900 AmerenCIPS customers in Southern Illinois are still without power. Areas experiencing the most significant damage include Anna, Carbondale, Marion, Harrisburg and surrounding communities.

John Barud, manager of the Ameren Illinois Utilities' Division VI, says a heavy coating of ice remaining on trees and power lines has caused new outages to continue to occur, hampering restoration efforts.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities warn all residents to stay away from downed power lines, which may still be energized.

"Our top priority is the safety of our coworkers, contractors and the public," Barud says. "People can help by making sure they report any downed power lines and by warning others to stay away from these lines until repair crews can get there. Residents should stay away from brush and downed trees which may hide downed wires."

Customers can call AmerenCIPS at 1-888-789-2477 to report downed wires.

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 Utilities

CONTACT: Erica Abbett of Ameren Illinois Utilities, +1-618-236-4329

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