Power outages strike Mercer County

Robert Blackford/Editor
Nature's distress signal -- During the power outage on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010, nature illustrated Aledo's plight with an American flag at the Aledo McDonald's.

Many Ameren IP customers in Mercer County were without power for most of the day Thursday, Nov. 21 due to the inclement weather. On Thursday 6,335 of Ameren's 6,890 customers in Mercer County were without power. The power started flickering midnight, then went out permanently at around 5 a.m. in Aledo. The power came back on there at around 4 p.m..

By Friday at 9:30 a.m . Ameren IP was reporting all but six customers in Mercer County had had their electricity restored.

Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson reported that everything was pretty quiet on Thursday. "I think we were pretty fortunate. I can only think of one traffic related accident. We directed people to warming stations. Some of those folks needed places to plug in their oxygen. I was surprised the power was on in Viola and Aledo when I went through at about 6 p.m. The estimates we were given were midnight."

Five warming stations were opened in the Ameren IP area -- Aledo Fire Station, Viola Fire Station, Joy Fire Station, New Boston Fire Station and Keithsburg City Hall. The Aledo Fire Station served around 60 meals during the power outage. At around 2 p.m. a warming station was prepared at the Mercer County VFW, in the event there was no power overnight.

The outages started on Wednesday evening for many customers. On Wednesday Ameren reported that 277 customers in Mercer County were without power.

The outages were not confined to Mercer County.

In Henderson County there were 1,984 customers without power Thursday.

There were only 280 in Henry County on Thursday without power. Eighty-one homes remained without power in Henry County Friday morning.

In Warren County there were 3,313 homes without power Thursday. All of those had been restored by Friday morning. On 9:40 a.m. Friday morning 2,146 customers were still without power out of the 1,218,704 Ameren customers in Illinois. That represents less than one percent of Ameren's Illinois customers.

As of approximately 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening there were 8,500 Ameren customers without service state-wide. The majority of those were out of Ameren IP.

You can also view current information at www.illinoisoutage.com.

Customers who have left home and have access to the internet on a hand held device or smart phone can go to www.ameren.mobi, click on My Electric Outage, enter phone number and house number to view outage information pertaining to their home. Crews are dispatched to work to get power back on safely and reliably.