ST. LOUIS, March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- AmerenUE requested today that customers conserve energy in the Fenton and Valley Park areas east of Highway 141, south of Big Bend, west of Lindbergh and north of Tesson Ferry. AmerenUE is asking customers in that specific area to avoid using electricity as much as possible for the remainder of today and tomorrow, as the company attempts to cope with flooding issues that threaten three substations near the Meramec River, which is expected to crest due to heavy rainfall that has caused flooding in Missouri.
AmerenUE is preparing for flooding that threatens three of its substations near the Meramec River in South County by sandbagging around those substations to keep the lights on for 6,300 customers, who are being switched to alternative substations.
"We are asking industrial and commercial customers in the Fenton and Valley Park areas to avoid continuous operation of their electrically powered equipment," says Thomas R. Voss, AmerenUE's president and chief executive officer. "We are also asking customers in those areas with electric clothes dryers and cooking equipment to reduce the use of these appliances, particularly between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and to turn off unnecessary lighting and limit electric equipment use.
"We thank all customers for their help in this initiative."
Today the company is filling bags with sand and has deployed approximately 250 of its employees and contract crews to place the sandbags around its Marshall, Fenton and Rudder substations -- all in St. Louis County.
All three substations are threatened with flooding due to the cresting of Meramec River predicted for Friday. On Wednesday, crews began removing all vulnerable equipment from these substations.
"We are working proactively to avoid problems for our customers because we remain committed to keeping the lights on despite predicted flooding in those areas," says Richard Mark, AmerenUE senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. "As a result, we determined that protecting those substations makes the most sense. It's all about reliability. We promise to deliver reliability no matter the conditions, and we are keeping that promise."
With 1.2 million electric customers and 125,000 natural gas 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.
CONTACT: Susan Gallagher of AmerenUE, +1-314-554-2175
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/