Ameren Illinois Utilities Prepared for Additional Severe Weather
PEORIA, Ill., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) have restored service to about 23,600 customers in the wake of a storm that left about 43,500 customers in the dark early this morning.
The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) expect the majority of customers will have their lights back on by late this evening. However, service will not be fully restored in the communities of Peoria, Elmwood and Galesburg until the end of the day Friday. Some isolated individual service outages are expected to continue into Saturday.
In addition to directing the service restoration effort, the AIU Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is closely monitoring developing weather conditions. If severe weather develops later today or overnight, new outages may result. Also, severe weather could hamper efforts to restore service to those who are now without lights. AIU personnel and contractor allies remain on alert, prepared to respond to any new weather-related service outages.
AIU has deployed three Storm Trailers in Peoria County. The Storm Trailers are mobile storerooms, stocked with the material field crews need to get the lights back on. The trailers can be moved to central staging sites to provide essential materials in those areas with the greatest damage.
"We are urging all residents to exercise special care until we have completed service restoration work," said Bill Prebil, Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) vice president of Regional Operations.
"This morning's 80 mile per hour winds broke dozens utility poles and sent large tree limbs crashing into our electric lines. As a result, we have many downed power lines. Please stay away from downed lines, as well as brush or fallen trees that often hide downed lines. Call us or '911' to report 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).
"We also remind everyone that safety must be the first priority when using portable generators. Never operate a portable generator indoors. Before using a portable generator, first open the main breaker or remove the main fuses before connecting the generator to your electrical system," Prebil said.
Current information on the electrical service restoration effort as well as safety advice and weather reports are available at IllinoisOutage.com.
Residents who need to repair customer-owned facilities, such as the meter base, weatherhead or point of attachment, should have this work performed by a professional electrical contractor. These repairs must be completed before service can be safely restored. More information is available at IllinoisOutage.com.
The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) have been providing safe, reliable energy delivery service for more than a century. The Ameren Illinois Utilities deliver energy to 1.2 million electric and 840,000 natural gas customers in more than 1,200 communities within a 43,700-square-mile service territory.
Ameren offers these tips for your safety and for coping with power outages:
Check on the elderly. If you know an elderly person in your neighborhood that is without power, check on that person's health.
Watch out for downed wires. If you see a fallen or sagging wire, assume that it is still energized and dangerous. Electric power lines can carry power even after being knocked to the ground. Stay away and warn others to do the same.
Pull some plugs. Turn off or disconnect the refrigerator, freezer, television, air conditioner and other major appliances that would go on automatically when the power is restored. This precaution will avoid overloading a circuit when power comes back on - and the chance of a second interruption. After power is restored, turn them on one at a time.
Flip a switch. Turn one or two light switches on so you will know when your service is restored.
There are also some steps you can take during and after a storm to ensure the safety of your family, home and pets.
Keep your food cold. Resist the urge to peek in on the refrigerator and freezer. Food will stay cold or frozen longer if the appliance stays closed.
These foods should be safe for a few days without power:
SOURCE: Ameren Illinois Utilities
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/