FENTON, Mo. - Thousands of people woke up Wednesday morning to bitter cold temperatures and no electric service in their area. Ameren reports that there are over 9,000 customers out of power in the state of Illinois. There are over 5,000 customers in the dark in Missouri.
The bulk of the local power outages are in western St. Louis County and Jefferson County. According to Ameren's power outage map, the bulk of the power outages are around Fenton and High Ridge.
It is not clear what has caused the outages. But, the extreme cold weather may be to blame. Ameren offered tips to deal with the cold weather before the arctic blast hit Illinois and Missouri. Ameren Illinois activated their Emergency Operations Center on Monday to help with this week's winter weather.
Ameren says that if you do lose power during a winter storm, remember the following:
- Turn off lights and unplug appliances to prevent damage and overloading circuits once the power is restored.
- Keep faucets on at a drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Dress warm and in layers.
- Close doors to unused rooms in the house.
- Be cautious when using alternative heat sources and keep rooms properly ventilated.
- Block cold air from coming in by stuffing towels underneath doors.
- Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for electrical outlets can help prevent injuries and electrocutions when installed in areas that may be affected by melting snow or ice. You can also purchase portable GFCIs for your emergency supply kits.