SILEX, MO (KPLR) – Residents of Silex, Missouri say Ameren Missouri is trying to stick them with the check after a damaging power surge. The debate is over who or what caused the damaging incident.
It all began about 2pm on October 25th. Sam Sullivan was working at a very busy Central Elevator Company where the soy bean harvest was being brought in by farmers. But things were about to come to a sudden stop.
“Our driver came back and said there was a pole at the bottom of the hill that had caught on fire,” Sullivan said.
The power went out for a couple of hours. It was turned back on, but there would be more problems shortly thereafter. Debbie Angel left the office just after 5.
“Headed down the hill and here it was on fire again,” she said.
Others were experiencing other problems. Allen Seeger says the lights went bright, then his television caught fire.
“Fire shot up in the curtains. I don’t know why they didn’t catch on fire. And the little one in the kitchen when to smoking. And she had so much stuff on the side of it I didn’t know where to unhook it. I wanted to throw it out the door.”
And Sullivan got home to find trouble as well.
“I walked in the house and my satellite receiver on my television started sizzling and smoking, set off my smoke detectors in my house. I unplugged it and tossed it out in my front yard.”
At least twenty-five homes and businesses in the area claim they had some kind of damage from the surge. Some sent claims to Ameren, asking the power company to pay for the damage. But Ameren is saying, ‘no.’
A company called Corporate Claims Management, handling the claims for Ameren, sent out a letter saying there were storms in the area that day, and blaming those storms for the damage. They say Ameren “can’t control acts of nature,” and tell residents to file with their own insurance companies.
Fox 2 Chief Meteorologist Dave Murray says there were some storms in the area the afternoon and evening of October 25th, but says none were severe. And the folks in Silex say there were no storms at all in that Lincoln County town.
“When the power went out originally we thought a car had hit the poll because there was no weather in our area at that time,” Sullivan said. “By 5:00 when the second surge hit, it was raining lightly.”
We asked Ameren for comment but they refused, citing company policy not to publicly discuss individual accounts.
Some residents are considering legal action.