STATE

Service Restored to more than 49,000 Customers since Sunday

Staff reports

The Ameren Illinois Utilities estimate all customers who lost electric service in the wake of Sunday's storms will have their service restored by late this afternoon, 24 hours earlier than initially estimated.

Any customer still without service is urged to call their Ameren Illinois Utility (AmerenCIPS - 1-888-789-2477; AmerenIP - 1-800-755-5000).

In addition, customers should call if they are aware of tree limbs or branches that are hanging on or otherwise touching electrical lines, transformers or other electrical equipment. Customers are warned to never touch or attempt to move a tree limb, branch or any other material that is in contact or could come in contact with electrical lines, transformers or other equipment.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Ameren Illinois Utilities had restored service to more than 49,000 customers following Sunday's storms, leaving about 400 customers without service. The storms, which produced heavy rains and damaging winds, brought down distribution and transmission poles and sent tree limbs and even whole trees crashing through power lines. In many of the impacted areas, the National Weather Service had issued high wind warnings.

"We thank our customers for their understanding and patience as we worked diligently to restore power following Sunday's storms," said Ron Pate, Ameren Illinois Utilities vice president of Regional Operations. "Furthermore, I am appreciative of the effort put forth by our employees and contractors who worked under difficult conditions to make this restoration effort possible."

To meet the challenge of the storms, spawned by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, the Ameren Illinois Utilities with local employees, reassigned employees and outside contractors had 780 field personnel to restore service in Southern Illinois, including linemen, tree trimmers and support personnel. In addition, the Ameren Illinois Utilities sent two of their storm trailers to Anna to serve the Southern Illinois areas hardest hit by the storm. A storm trailer is a mobile storeroom with the supplies line crews need to restore service.

The Ameren Illinois utilities serve 1.2 million electric and more than 840,000 natural gas customers in a 43,700-square-mile area of Illinois.