STORM UPDATE: 5:00 P.M.
AmerenUE is responding aggressively to restore power to those communities affected by severe storms that blew through the St. Louis metropolitan area this afternoon.
At the peak of the storm—which carried strong winds, many lightning strikes and heavy rain—about 50,000 customers were affected. Damage and related power outages were widespread broadly across the St. Louis metropolitan area, with the heaviest concentration of damage and outages in the mid-county to north-county areas.
UE expects to restore power to most customers by late tomorrow, though some customers in harder hit or remote areas may not be restored until early Thursday morning.
UE is now locating one of its 55-foot “storm trailers” near the I-270/Hanley Road intersection in North St. Louis County. The trailer is stocked with about $100,000 worth of materials commonly needed to repair equipment damaged by storms.
“We have a lot of damage to our system, and we are watching the skies carefully for additional storms that may develop yet this evening,” says Dave Wakeman, Manager-Distribution Operating for UE.
Meanwhile, 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.
UE officials 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). Customers can also use the “My Electric Outage” feature to check the status of the power at their home from remote locations, either through a conventional computer or through a mobile device.
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.
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CONTACT: Mike Cleary, 573.681.7137, or Tim Fox, 314.554.4335, both of AmerenUE