PEORIA, Ill., April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Illinois activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) this morning in response to major flooding in Southern Illinois that could impact both electric and natural gas service in some areas.
"The safety of our customers and co-workers is our first and foremost concern. It is imperative that residents be aware of the electrical hazards and natural gas safety issues that may occur during floods," said Ron Pate, Ameren Illinois vice president of Operations.
At this time, major flooding is occurring along the Ohio River with record flooding at Cairo. Record flooding also is forecast for the Big Muddy River at Murphysboro and a near record for the Patoka River at Princeton. Major flooding is occurring or forecast for portions of the Mississippi, Green, Wabash, Little Wabash and White rivers.
As electrical substations in at-risk areas become threatened, Ameren Illinois is switching electrical feeds to alternate substations in order to maintain service. Natural gas regulator stations are being monitored in areas threatened by flooding. While flood-related outages at this time are at a minimum, the situation is being closely monitored.
Electrical safety advice:
In the event of flooding, Ameren Illinois will turn off electrical power to a home or business at the request of a customer. Contact Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have the power turned off when flood waters are likely to reach the main electrical panel box. Ameren Illinois also will turn power off at the request of local authorities.
Natural gas safety advice:
If flood waters reach or are likely to reach the controls of a natural gas furnace, water heater or other appliance (generally, the controls are located at the bottom of the appliance), call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to have the natural gas service turned off. Ameren Illinois also will turn off natural gas service at the request of local authorities.
Ameren Illinois recommends these actions after a flood:
Additional safety information is available at IllinoisOutage.com and at SafeElectricity.org. Additional flood recovery information is available from the University of Illinois Extension at web.extension.illinois.edu/disaster/.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in Downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com.
SOURCE Ameren Illinois