Ameren Illinois Activates Emergency Operations Center As Freezing Rain Falls Across Service Territory
Ameren Illinois has opened its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to coordinate efforts to restore power outages that may occur as a result of Winter Storm Jupiter. The complex weather system began dumping sleet and freezing rain on portions of the company's service territory on Friday morning.
Ameren Illinois field personnel and supporting contractors were placed on alert days in advance to prepare for freezing rain and ice accumulation on the electric grid as the severe weather system moved closer to the Ameren Illinois service territory. The Emergency Operations Center will be staffed around the clock to coordinate electric service restoration, logistical support and communications.
'The safety of our customers and employees is our first priority in responding to power outages,' said Richard Mark, President, Ameren Illinois. 'We are committed to responding safely and effectively in icy conditions to restore electric and natural gas service for our customers.'
Ron Pate, Senior Vice President, Operations and Technical Services, said Ameren Illinois has mobilized more than 750 field personnel and contractors and staged key equipment in areas expected to experience heavy damage. In addition, the company is poised to call-in an additional 1,000 linemen and workers from other Midwest utilities.
'We are taking the appropriate steps to safely address service disruptions as they occur,' Pate said. 'In situations like this, we concentrate first on restoring power to critical public safety facilities. We then prioritize our efforts by repairing large transmission lines, then distribution lines and feeder circuits that bring power to neighborhoods and customer premises. All of our customers can be assured that we will get to everyone as quickly and safely as possible.'
Customer safety tips
Measures customers should take to prepare for a power outage or loss of natural gas service are similar to those needed to prepare for any emergency situation.
Call Ameren Illinois at 800-755-5000 as soon as possible to report a downed line or natural gas odor.
Sign up for outage alerts to receive text or email restoration updates after you report an outage. Learn more at Ameren.com/alerts.
If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect the devices 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 AmerenIllinois.com, customers and media can receive timely updates on outage restoration by following Ameren Illinois on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.