Thousand lose power in High Ridge, Fenton during extreme cold

HIGH RIDGE, Mo. - The temperature dropped quickly in about 6,000 Ameren customers’ homes when their electricity failed Wednesday morning.

Residents in the High Ridge and Fenton areas experienced two power outages totaling about two hours. One resident in Fenton said the temperature in her home dropped to 45° and she had to keep warm in her car.

“Miserable, miserable, very cold. very cold,” said Renee Penny of Fenton.

Another resident said she covered her two children with blankets.

“I just bundled myself up in a robe and a blanket,” said Shannon Janssen. She added, “Woke up it was freezing it was cold we were shivering.”

Ameren crews showed up in force to fix the problems. Extra crews were brought in Tuesday night in preparation for the bone chilling weather. In recent days, Ameren also did proactive work to eliminate potential problems. Of all of those who lost power, 5,000 customers can blame their power outage on a rodent.

“We had a mouse that chewed through some control cable at a substation in Jefferson County and upset the instrumentation in that substation,” said Ameren V.P. Kevin Anders.

At the Lute’s family home, they started a fire in their fireplace and brought out the oil lamps for light. They also hoped for the best for the Ameren repair crews.

“We’re so thankful for them and praying for their safety working out in the cold,” Denise Lutes said.

“They’re doing a great job. I wouldn’t want to be out there,” Donald Lutes said.

The intense cold can cause circuit breakers to stick which caused a loss of power to some customers.

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