From Illinois Business Journal news services
COLLINSVILLE – With storm warnings and high wind advisories issued throughout the Ameren Illinois service territory, the company is reminding its customers to be on alert while it readies its operational teams to respond quickly in the event of service disruptions.
“Ameren Illinois field and support teams have already begun taking appropriate steps to quickly and safely address any service disruptions we might experience,” said Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois. “We remind our customers to take precautions to protect themselves and their families. That means staying away from downed power lines and immediately reporting any downed lines to Ameren Illinois.”
Pate cautioned that strong winds can cause the lines to move up and down in a violent manner. This movement, referred to as “galloping,” can result in damage to cross arms on poles, insulators and even the wires, resulting in power outages.
In preparation for the forecasted storms, Pate said Ameren Illinois is taking the following actions:
• Weather conditions are being monitored by the Emergency Operations Center for any changes that may impact service.
• Additional Ameren Illinois workers and contractor personnel are on alert and ready for deployment to impacted areas.
• Trucks are fueled and loaded with supplies.
• If necessary, Ameren Illinois is prepared to deploy the special Ameren Illinois Storm Trailers. These trailers are filled with materials field crews need to perform their service restoration work. The trailers can be moved to various staging sites to provide materials when outside crews come in to help with the restoration efforts and to provide a store of materials close to the area with the most damage.
Customer safety tips
The 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 1 (800) 755-5000 as soon as possible to report a downed line, natural gas odor, or an outage.
• 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.
• If your electric service is interrupted, unplug or protect sensitive computer and electronic equipment with a high-quality surge protector.
• 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 the Ameren Illinois news feed at twitter.com/AmerenIllinois and Facebook.com/AmerenIllinois.