ST. LOUIS, MO — Thousands of Ameren customers had their power cut off after severe weather swept through the area Thursday night.
At the peak of the storm, at least 100,000 homes throughout the area were without power.
Ameren Missouri said more than 1,000 workers are attempting to restore electric service to the area. They expect to add an additional 350 workers to help restore power today. Ameren Illinois reported it has around 1,000 linemen, tree trimmers and others working to turn the lights back on.
"This storm is particularly challenging because of the extent of pole and wire damage, including a large number of single wires that are down in backyards and near customer premises," said Ron Pate, Senior Vice President, Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. "We know that being without power is frustrating for our customers. Every available resource is on the ground working as quickly and safely as possible to get the power back on."
Customers were reminded to watch for—and avoid—downed electrical wires, as they could be energized and dangerous. Stay away from brush, downed trees and limbs and any debris that may conceal downed power lines. Call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to report downed wires.
Customers can also sign up for text or email notifications once an outage has been reported.
An Ameren Missouri representative spoke to reporters at their Emergency Operations Center Friday afternoon. He said that there were 42,000 outages at just after Thursday evening’s storms. They were able to restore 20,000 customer’s electric service by Friday morning. There are around 18,000 customers without power Friday afternoon.
The utility expects most power to be restored in Missouri Friday. There may be some customers that eventually get power Saturday.
When you factor in the heat right now, the lack of electricity could prove deadly because of the excessive heat warning for the area.
“It's bad today and hot; I'm dripping sweating," said Ebony Strong.
That's how many residents felt throughout the day Friday.
“I start feeling the temps start to rise and it got uncomfortable really fast in my house," Strong said.
They are asking the public to check on seniors or others that may be at risk in the high temperatures. You can bring them to cooling center. Check the full list of resources here: Cool Down St. Louis.
Ameren Illinois has issued these estimates on when power can be expected to be restored for customers in the affected regions:
- Alton Area – 10 p.m. on Friday:
- Sparta, Carbondale areas – Noon on Saturday
- Collinsville, Granite City, Maryville areas – 10 p.m. on Saturday
- East St. Louis, Belleville, Marion, Mt. Vernon, Centralia, Harrisburg, Anna areas – Midnight on Saturday