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AmerenUE Expects to Restore Most Power in Southeast Missouri Today; Some Restoration Work may extend into Friday

AmerenUE expects to restore service today to most of the remaining customers who lost power due to the severe ice storm that struck the area Monday and Tuesday. The company reports that due to difficult terrain and other circumstances in some areas, some power restoration work may continue into Friday.

As of 10 a.m. today, about 3,000 AmerenUE customers were still without service—mainly in the northern and western parts of the Cape Girardeau area. At the peak of the storm, more than 15,000 customers were without power in an area extending roughly from Dexter through Cape Girardeau to around Charleston.

AmerenUE has about 1,100 employees, contractors and personnel from neighboring utilities working on power restoration throughout the area, including lineworkers, tree-trimmers, field checkers, dispatchers, troublemen and others from all over the state.

“With these extensive resources, along with improved weather, we expect to make good progress,” says Jean Mason, manager of AmerenUE’s SEMO Division. “However, due to difficult terrain and the extreme amount of damage in certain areas, it may be Friday before we get everybody back on.”

Mason says three “storm trailers” stocked with materials needed to make repairs, along with a Mobile Command Center to help coordinate power restoration, remain in the area.

“We continue to appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to get their power back on,” Mason says.

AmerenUE reminds customers that 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 re-attach or repair customer-owned facilities, such as the meter base, weatherhead or point of attachment. To see a diagram of these components, visit the Ameren Web site: www.ameren.com. Then, under “Storm Center,” click on “Outage Information,” and “Maintaining Your Service.”

Any customer noticing damage to these facilities should call 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.

In addition, customers should stay away from downed power wires caused by the storm. Ameren companies are working closely with city and state officials and emergency response personnel to coordinate restoration efforts and ensure customer safety.

More information on AmerenUE’s power restoration process, along with advice on how customers can cope with outages is available under Storm Center at 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, 573.681.7137, or Susan Gallagher, 314.554.2175