St. Louis, MO (May 9, 2009) – AmerenUE continues its aggressive efforts to restore power to those communities affected by severe storms that blew through the Cape Girardeau, Potosi and St. Francois areas early Friday afternoon.
The storms, which brought hurricane-force winds, tornadoes and heavy rain, knocked out power to more than 23,600 customers in total. Strong winds did significant damage to the company’s poles, electrical wires and facilities.
As of 4:00 p.m. today, power had been restored to about 20,000 customers. Approximately 1,500 of the remaining 3,500 will be restored by end of day today.
The extensive tree damage and rough terrain have slowed down restoration efforts to some rural communities. Below is a list of communities where power restoration efforts will continue into tomorrow:
• Doe Run and rural areas south of Farmington
• Ironton and the surrounding area
• Iron Mountain Lake
• Bellevue and rural areas around Bellevue
• National Forest areas south of Viburnum
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 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 storm safety information is available on the Storm Center on Ameren’s Web site – the first choice on the left navigation bar (www.ameren.com).
With residential electric retail rates that are about 38 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.