CHESTERFIELD (KPLR) - Ameren crews have been working non-stop since Monday night to restore power to residents in the Chesterfield area. Intense storms toppled power poles, knocking out electricity for thousands of customers. The hardest hit area was along Clayton Road where it intersects with Schoettler Road. That is basically where Chesterfield, Ballwin, and Town and Country all come together.
80 Ameren workers are braving brutal heat to try and get all of the power back on. The storms tore the Chesterfield area about 6 p.m. Monday.
Strong winds either snapped or knocked over nine power poles along Clayton Road. The National Weather Service says the damage was likely caused by downburst winds of around 55 miles per hour. At the height of the outages, there were about 10,000 people in the area out of power.
As of Tuesday afternoon, that number stood just over 1,000. Crews have to replace all nine poles that were damaged. Ameren officials say they hope to the power restored by 8 pm.
While Ameren is working to restore power, Clayton Road is reduced to one lane between 141 and Schoettler Road, causing some delays.
With the intense heat, the lack of air conditioning isn’t just uncomfortable, but dangerous. It caused a retirement home to evacuate, and a day-care center to close. First responders were busy responding to heat-related cases, and even rescued a dog, trapped inside a home without air conditioning.
Meanwhile residents fled to hotels, cooling centers, and a neighborhood St. Louis Bread Co. to enjoy cool air, and Wi-Fi. Anna Fruits explained, “I couldn’t take it anymore so I found refuge at Bread Co.” She was there for four hours, regularly checking Ameren’s outage maps, to see when she could return home.
The City of Chesterfield has opened a cooling center for residents impacted by the power outages who need to get into an air-conditioned area. It is at the Chesterfield City Parks Administrative Facility at 17891 North Outer 40 Road. It will remain open until 9:00pm Tuesday and then reopen at 10:00am Wednesday if still needed.
For more information, you can call the Chesterfield Police Department.