After severe early morning storms from the inland impact of Hurricane Ike caused widespread outages, AmerenUE crews went into action, restoring more than 40,000 Missouri customers in eight hours. In addition to 500 Metro area employees, 100 UE employees from Central and Northern Missouri are supporting restoration efforts.
Jefferson County, with power restored to 13,000 customers, and St. Louis City and County, with power restored today to 22,000 customers, sustained the greatest damage. That damage 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 were widely scattered throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. The approximately 28,000 St. Louis City and County customers still out of power from this morning's storms are expected to be restored by end of day Monday (tomorrow).
In addition, several thousand customers have been restored of the more than 30,000 out of power outside the metropolitan area, primarily in Southeast Missouri, with Scott and Cape Girardeau counties among the hardest hit.
The company has reached out to other utilities and expects crews from some of those utilities to support the restoration effort soon. A number of electrical contractors that would normally be called upon to support restoration efforts are helping in the Gulf Coast to restore power to areas hit by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
Additional materials and fully equipped storm trailers are being deployed in the St. Louis Metro area and in Southeast Missouri to give crews tools they need where they are working.
UE began calling out additional crews from unaffected areas early this morning to assist the restoration effort.
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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.
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