Ameren Missouri's post-storm assessment reveals significant damage to the infrastructure in the affected areas of St. Louis and St. Charles counties. More than a hundred large poles supporting major sub-transmission lines are down. These poles must be repaired first to bring power back into nine substations, each of which supply power to tens of thousands of customers. Then work can begin on the distribution system which branches out into the neighborhoods to restore service at the residential household level.
By 5:00 p.m. today, outage numbers had decreased to under 80,000 from the initial 93,000. The utility believes it can restore another 5,000 customers overnight.
"Progress has been steady but restoration speed has been hampered by the need to first fix more than a hundred poles that feed power to our substations. We have to get those substations energized again and then we can then fix the poles and wires in residential areas," said Michael Moehn, senior vice president of Ameren Missouri Customer Operations. "Our priority is to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to our customers."
More than 1,000 Ameren Missouri employees are working on assessments, logistics and infrastructure repairs including linemen, tree trimmers and field checkers and office staff. In addition, Ameren Missouri is getting additional help from employees of its sister-utility, Ameren Illinois. The company is also bringing in another 400 or more linemen from other states. The utility estimates a total of 1,500 to 1,700 people will be working on this restoration.
Storm damage and debris can camouflage downed power lines. We're urging customers assume all power lines are energized and to use precaution while assessing damage to their homes and businesses. While every effort is made to restore power as quickly as possible, customers with special needs - including those with medical conditions, seniors, handicapped and others who are dependent on electric service - may wish to consider making alternative arrangements if outages in their areas persist.
Customers without power should contact the Customer Service Center at 1.800.552.7583, go to the Outage Center at AmerenMissouri.com or go to Ameren.mobi. Call our Customer Service Center or 911 immediately if you see downed power lines.
Ameren Missouri is also warning customers to watch out for scams. The company has received reports of someone attempting to charge a customer $350 to restore power. Ameren Missouri crews do not request an upfront fee for their service.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 127,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.