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Ameren Illinois Utilities Crews Working to Restore Power Outages Caused by Severe Thunderstorms
Customers Warned to Stay Clear of Downed Wires

PEORIA, Ill., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Locally severe thunderstorms and high winds have resulted in power outages in portions of the Ameren Illinois Utilities service territory with the threat of more severe weather continuing for this afternoon and evening.

About 18,000 customers remained without power at 9:00 a.m. today. The areas hardest hit include the counties of Bureau, Fulton, Henry, Marshall, Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and other portions of Central Illinois.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities have mobilized field crews to restore service as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the Ameren Illinois Utilities are reminding customers that safety is the first and foremost concern.

"The most important safety rule is to stay clear of downed power lines and always call your Ameren Illinois Utility or '911' if you see downed lines. Assume all downed power lines are energized. Stay inside, especially at night because you may walk into an energized power line. Stay clear of brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines," said Carl Spence, manager of Ameren Illinois Division I.

The measures customers should take to prepare for a power outage or loss of natural gas service are similar to those needed to prepare for any emergency situation.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities offer these tips:

-- If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.

-- If your power goes out, check first with a neighbor to see if you are the only one without power. If you are the only one without service, check your panel box for a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse. If any breakers are in the "off" position or if a fuse is blown, you should investigate the problem. If you are still without power, or if others in your neighborhood are experiencing a power outage, call your Ameren Illinois Utilities at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- and always call as soon as possible to report a downed line or natural gas odor! The Ameren Illinois Utilities numbers are 888-672-5252 (AmerenCILCO), 888-789-2477 (AmerenCIPS) and 800-755-7000 (AmerenIP).

A full description of the Ameren Illinois Utilities' restoration process and tips on how customers can prepare for service disruptions is available on the Ameren Web site at http://www.ameren.com/ (select "Outage Information" from the left-hand menu, select Ameren Illinois Outage Information and then select "Ameren's Storm Response" from the left-hand menu). Customers can learn more about power outage situations by selecting "Outage Information" and then such menu options as the "Outage Map" and "My Electric Outage."

Additional safety information is available on the Ameren Web site (http://www.ameren.com/).

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: Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, or Neal Johnson,
+1-309-677-5284, both of Ameren Illinois Utilities

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