Ameren-Widespread power outages avoided by warming temperatures and low wind speeds

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Saturday’s warming temperatures helped melt ice in trees reducing the risk of widespread power outages.

Power outages have not been as bad as feared because of not only the temperature but also the wind speed.

“Wind speeds are very critical in terms of causing a number of outages, said Kevin Anders, Assistant Vice President of Operations for Ameren Missouri.  “The winds have stayed below 10 miles per hour so that that’s helped a lot.”

Anders said an ice covered limb does not need to knock down a power line in order to knock out power.  He said in some cases simple contact will cause problems.  Where that contact is made determines how many people lose power.

“If it makes contact on the wire that extends from a transformer to somebody’s house, it’s going to affect one customer,” said Anders.  He said if there’s contact on a 30,000 volt circuit it could affect 1,500 customers.  “We’ve seen some of both in this event.”

Ameren Missouri has 500 line workers and 200 tree trimmers working to restore power this weekend.

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