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Ameren working to restore power after storms

Ameren crews work to restore power in North St. Louis County. Ameren crews work to restore power in North St. Louis County.

   Ameren crews continue to work around the clock to restore power to those affected by Friday night's storms.

   The EF-3 tornado carved a 32 mile path of destruction from Weldon Spring to Ferguson and tore down over 200 poles critical to supplying electricity to tens of thousands of customers. Ameren's Michael Moehn says replacing the 70 foot poles is extremely labor intensive.

   "This is what we would call sub-transmission lines," Moehn said. "So the way it works is, we have to get this installed first because this feeds substations which then feed neighborhoods. So what we have to do is come in and disconnect everything from the existing poles, and then reset the new pole, and reconnect everything."

   Moehn urges anyone who sees a downed pole or power line to stay away from it and call Ameren immediately. (1-800-552-7583)

   Moehn says about 90,000 customers were left in the dark from Friday's storms.

   He says it is one of the top wind-damaging outbreaks in recent memory.  "This certainly ranks up there with the top two or three in the past six or seven years. Again, the amount of sub-transmission with these really high poles, that kind of damage is significant."

   Moehn expects most customers will have power restored by later today, although some may have to wait until tomorrow.  As of 6:00 a.m. today, 36,000 electric customers in St. Charles and St. Louis Counties were still without power.  Another 1,000 customers in Madison County were still in the dark.   

 

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