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Ameren Illinois working to restore power to thousands in southern Illinois

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Ameren Illinois has activated their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Thursday to coordinate power restoration in southern Illinois.

Severe thunderstorms moved across southern Illinois Thursday morning leaving thousands without power as damaging wind gusts brought down dozens of power lines and trees.

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, approximately 13,000 customers were without power, primarily in Clay, Crawford, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, Perry, Randolph and Richland Counties.

In anticipation of severe weather again Thursday afternoon and evening, Ameren Illinois crews and contractors have been placed on alert. The EOC is responsible for coordinating service restoration, logistical support and communications.

“Our first priority is the safety of our crews and our customers,” said Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. “Restoration will focus on repairing large transmission lines, followed by the distribution lines and feeder circuits that bring power to neighborhoods and homes.  We can assure our customers that we will work as quickly and safely as possible to get their power back on.”

Ameren has the following safety reminders that customers should take in order to prepare for a power outage or loss of natural gas service.

• Call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 as soon as possible to report a downed line, natural gas odor, or an outage.
• Residents are reminded to stay away from downed power lines because these lines may still be energized. During an outage, individuals are asked to stay indoors after sunset because downed lines may not be visible. Stay away from brush, shrubs and fallen trees that may be hiding these lines.
• Detailed safety and outage information is available at outagemap.ameren.com.
• Sign up for outage alerts and we will text or e-mail restoration updates after you report an outage. Learn more at Ameren.com/alerts.
• If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.
• When severe weather is predicted, make certain your cell phone is fully charged. Also, remember that cordless land line telephones will not function in the event of a power outage.

In addition to the safety and outage information available at outagemap.ameren.com, customers can receive timely updates on outage restoration by following Ameren Illinois at twitter.com/AmerenIllinois and Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois.