MARION, Ill., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As about 600 Ameren Illinois Utilities field personnel work into the night, the utilities estimate that the lights will be back on for as many as another 3,200 customers by late this evening.
At 4:30 p.m. today, about 4,400 customers were still without power. At the height of the storm, 11,900 customers were without electrical service.
It is anticipated that nearly all of the remaining customers will have service by the end of tomorrow, though a few isolated outages may persist due to damage to individual service lines to homes and customers who need to make repairs at their homes. The threat of new outages remains because of the heavy ice accumulations on trees and power lines.
The outages that continue into tomorrow are expected to be concentrated in the Brookport and Metropolis areas where heavy ice and falling trees have caused extensive damage to both the subtransmission and distribution systems. High voltage subtransmission lines bring power to substations, while distribution lines bring electricity to homes and businesses.
Customers who live outside the Brookport and Metropolis areas who are still without power by late this evening should call the Ameren Illinois Utilities to report their outage. The number for AmerenCIPS is 1-888-789-2477. AmerenIP customers should call 1-800-755-7000.
The Ameren Illinois Utilities note that some customers may need the services of an electrical contractor to reattach or repair customer-owned facilities, such as the meter base, weatherhead or point of attachment. See http://www.ameren.com for a diagram showing this arrangement.
For safety sake, residents are urged to stay away from downed power lines and to avoid brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines. To report downed power lines or other problems, customers should call the Ameren Illinois Utilities: 1-888-672-5252 (AmerenCILCO), 1-888-789-2477 (AmerenCIPS) and 1-800-755-7000 (AmerenIP) or "911."
Customers planning to use a portable generator must first open the main breaker or remove the main fuses before connecting the generator to the electrical systems. Failure to do this could seriously injure utility crews working on outside power lines, and/or it could cause damage to a neighbor's property or the customer's own equipment. Customers should never use a portable generator indoors, including in a home, garage, basement, shed or partially-enclosed area -- even with ventilation because of the threat of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
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.
For current information on the restoration effort, please visit http://www.illinoisoutage.com
SOURCE: Ameren Illinois Utilities
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/