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Ameren Illinois Utilities Aiming to Complete Service Restoration Work by Tonight

1,400 Field Personnel Work to Turn Lights Back On in Wake of Storms

PEORIA, Ill., June 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- About 1,400 Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) and allied contractor field personnel are working to get the lights back on by tonight for customers who lost service in the wake of Thursday's and Friday's waves of severe weather.

At 10:00 a.m. today, the Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) report that about 7,500 customers are without power, primarily in Adams, Bureau, Champaign, Henderson, Knox, Madison, Peoria, St. Clair, Sangamon, Vermilion and Warren counties.

The first round of storms struck Central Illinois Thursday morning, leaving 43,500 customers without electrical service. However, outages had been reduced to less than 7,000 Friday afternoon when additional storms hit Central Illinois and then areas further south, pushing the outage numbers back up to 40,000 customers without lights. Overnight and this morning, AIU crews brought service back to about 32,500 customers.

With today's prospect of more favorable weather conditions, AIU anticipates that nearly all customers will have service by tonight. However, AIU crews will continue working on isolated outages that are expected to persist into tomorrow.

The latest information on the electrical service restoration effort as well as safety advice and weather reports is available at IllinoisOutage.com.

"For safety's sake, we urge customers to check on neighbors, relatives and friends who are still without power, especially the elderly and those with medical conditions. This is especially important with high temperatures expected to reach into the 90s," said Bill Prebil, Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) vice president of Regional Operations.

Residents also must watch for and stay away from downed wires. To report downed wires or other problems, customers should call: 1-888-672-5252 (AmerenCILCO), 1-888-789-2477 (AmerenCIPS) and 1-800-755-7000 (AmerenIP).

Those 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.

Residents also are reminded 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.

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.

SOURCE: Ameren Illinois Utilities

Web site: http://www.ameren.com/