Round one of a severe ice and snow storm swept through Missouri in the past 24 hours. Anywhere from a quarter of an inch to a half inch of ice coated power lines and trees in many areas. But, at the height of round one, only a few hundred of Ameren Missouri's 1.2 million customers lost power.
Now the utility is gearing up for round two. Based on the wind forecast, Ameren Missouri crews remain on alert and ready to respond if blizzard conditions cause power outages.
"There is still a storm out there and we won't let our guard down," says Richard Mark, Senior VP of Ameren Missouri Customer Operations. "We are pleased with our continued reliability efforts and that there were very few outages during the first phase of this storm. However, because of the ice buildup on trees and power lines, the wind gusts present an additional threat that will continue until temperatures rise above freezing. Therefore, our crews will remain focused on preparations to respond to potential outages."
Ameren Missouri staff is monitoring weather conditions around the clock. Crews and resources are being staged in communities that could be hardest hit by the blizzard.
Ameren Missouri 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 Ameren Missouri 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 accidentally walk into an unseen energized power line. Stay clear of brush, shrubs and downed trees that may hide downed lines.
While every effort will be 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 occur.
We also urge our customers to look in on neighbors, especially seniors and those with medical conditions. Checking on these people will help keep them safe and comfortable.
Additional storm safety information is available at the Outage Center at AmerenMissouri.com.
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Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 126,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.