AmerenUE reports approximately 60,000 Missouri electric customers in the Metro St. Louis Area are without service due to severe early morning storms that hit the area as a result of Hurricane Ike. All available crews are working to restore power in affected areas, with multiple crews called in from Central and Northern Missouri to support restoration.
Jefferson County, with 24,000 out of power, and St. Louis City and County, with 37,000 customers affected, sustained the greatest damage, which included downed lines and tree limbs on lines as a result of heavy rain and strong winds that reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. However outages are widely scattered throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. In addition, more than 34,000 customers are out of power outside the metropolitan area, primarily in Southeast Missouri with Scott and Cape Girardeau counties being the hardest hit. Additional materials and fully equipped storm trailers are being deployed to the hardest hit areas.
UE began calling out additional crews from unaffected areas early this morning to assist the restoration effort. The company is still evaluating the extent of the damage and will offer estimates of restoration times as soon as possible.
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UE reminds 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 UE at 1-800-552-7583, 342-1000 in the St. Louis metropolitan area, 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 (www.ameren.com).
With residential electric retail rates that are more than 40 percent below the national average, UE provides electricity and natural gas to 1.2 million customers in Missouri. UE’s parent, Ameren Corporation, through its affiliates, serves 2.4 million electric and nearly 1 million natural gas customers across 64,000 square miles of Missouri and Illinois.