PEORIA, Ill., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ameren Illinois Utilities anticipate most customers who lost electrical service during this morning's severe thunderstorms in Central and North-Central Illinois will have their service restored this evening.
Among the hardest hit areas was Henry County, where the storm impacted the entire communities of Annawan and Atkinson. Service in these communities may not be fully restored until late morning tomorrow (July 22).
A second hard hit area was Canton and the surrounding area in Fulton County. All customers here are expected to have their service restored by midnight today.
In other areas impacted by the storms, it is anticipated service will be restored by this evening. However, restoration efforts may be hampered if severe weather returns to Central and North-Central Illinois this afternoon or evening.
The Ameren Illinois Utilities have mobilized field crews to restore service as quickly as possible. At the height of outages, more than 18,000 Ameren Illinois Utilities customers were without electrical service. At 3:40 p.m. today, about 7,600 customers are still without power.
The severe weather brought down trees and tree limbs, which damaged electrical lines. In addition, high winds knocked down some utility poles and wires and caused other damage.
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 -- 888-672-5252 (AmerenCILCO), 888- 789-2477 (AmerenCIPS) and 800-755-7000 (AmerenIP) -- 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.
While every effort is being made to restore power as quickly as possible, customers with special needs -- including those with medical conditions, seniors, handicapped and others who are dependent on electric service -- may wish to consider making alternative arrangements if outages in their areas persist.
We also urge our customers to look in on neighbors, especially seniors and those with medical conditions. Checking on these people during outages will help keep them safe and comfortable.
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 for Ameren Illinois Utilities
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/