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The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) today recognized AmerenUE as a winner of the “Emergency Recovery Award” for its excellence in restoring electricity to its customers following an aggressive ice storm last year. The award was presented today at EEI’s Spring CEO and Board Meeting.
On Jan. 26, 2009 and the two days that followed, a substantial ice storm covered much of southeastern Missouri, resulting in accumulation of up to five inches. 3,800 AmerenUE distribution poles broke from being loaded with ice and from coming into contact with ice-laden trees. A peak of 36,500 customers in AmerenUE’s service territory lost their power due to extensive damage to the 34.5 kV sub-transmission system.

The storm’s wake left unfavorable conditions for restoration, as slick roads hampered efforts and snow- and debris-covered terrain created access problems. AmerenUE sent crews comprising a total of 4,800 electrical workers, vegetation workers and others who came from nine states to assist the utility. In total, the team of workers tallied 402,928 man hours in its endeavor.

“Ice storms are some of the most damaging natural events to our electric infrastructure, and in this case in particular, AmerenUE really excelled in its job of turning the lights back on,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “AmerenUE’s efforts following this severe ice storm are very commendable, and it’s important to note that their commitment is common of the entire electric power industry after such an event.”

The “Emergency Recovery Award” is presented annually by EEI to U.S. and foreign-based member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or natural events. The Recovery Award recognizes exceptional efforts in restoring electric service by a company in its service territory. Winners of the award were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and awards were presented today during EEI’s Spring CEO meetings.

AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric and gas service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.ameren.com.

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Contact: Andrew O'Conner, 202-508-5489