Overnight storms cause power outages in St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS - With Sunday's high expected to hit close to 97 degrees. The overnight storms cool down the area.

However, the storms left many residents without power.  Ameren crews are working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

Many trees were uprooted and some homes damaged.  Leaving residents to clean-up debris Sunday.

“I first want to thank our customers for their patience as we work to restore service as safely and efficiently as possible. We expect to restore service to most of our customers today. Already this morning, we've had a helicopter flying over St. Charles and North St. Louis County to assess some of the most significant damage in the region. We've also placed additional resources, a mobile command center and a materials trailer, in North St. Louis County to aid in restoration efforts, said Kevin Anders Vice President, Operations at Ameren Missouri.

Residents are cleaning up their neighborhoods after the storm damage homes and vehicles. A large tree fell on top of a resident's car in south St. Louis knocking out its windows.  ”I'm glad she was not in the car.  She was in the house with me   and everybody was sleep. All I heard was lot of thunder and lighting,” said Curlee Presley.

At the peak of the storm, Ameren says more than 40,000 customers lost power in Illinois and 50,000 in Missouri.

The damage was spread across the St. Louis metro area.

In the City of St. Louis some uprooted trees could be seen blocking roads, just narrowly missed homes.  ” We were just six feet away from the tree falling. I have a baby on the way, so it’s scary,” said Brian Sebrian.

Fox 2 news crews noticed a roof torn off a garage, wood piles knocked over and bikes blown over in St. Charles.

Ameren Illinois says the line of severe thunderstorms that moved across the area overnight caused, Ameren Illinois to activate its Emergency Operations Center at 7 am.  Field crews are currently assessing the damage to its electric infrastructure.  Crews are out making repairs to restore power. Early assessments indicate numerous poles and wires are down. Outages are primarily concentrated the following areas:

Metro East: Alton, Granite City, Maryville/Edwardsville, Riverbend, Hillsboro, East St. Louis, Belleville and Jerseyville

South: Centralia, Mount Vernon and Salem

East-Central: Effingham, Olney and Robinson

Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services for Ameren Illinois, said the company's first priority is safety. Potentially life-threatening situations, such as downed power lines and service disruptions at hospitals and other critical facilities, will be handled first.

"Our crews are focused on repairing large transmission lines followed by the distribution lines and feeder circuits that bring power to neighborhoods and customer premises," said Pate. "All of our customers can be assured that we are working to bring everyone back on as quickly and safely as possible.”

Customers can always check the Ameren Missouri outage map and the Illinois outage map for the latest information.