JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wal-Mart is seeking to intervene in a dispute about electric rates between Ameren Missouri and its largest electric customer.
Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation has sought about a 25 percent reduction in the rate Ameren charges at its aluminum smelter in the southeastern Missouri town of New Madrid.
Wal-Mart filed a motion Friday with the Missouri Public Service Commission asking to intervene in the case.
In its filing, Wal-Mart says a lower rate for Noranda could significantly affect its own electric bills. Wal-Mart operates 73 stores in Missouri that consume a combined 190 million kilowatts per hour in electricity.
Noranda says Ameren is overearning and that lowering its rate would only increase other customers' bills by 1.8 percent or less. Ameren disagrees and says it will fight the rate reduction.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ameren Missouri says it has restored power to nearly all of the roughly 67,000 customers who lost electricity during strong storms and high winds.
The unsettled weather on Thursday brought wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour. Most of the outages to Ameren customers occurred in the St. Louis area.
The St. Louis-based utility said about 1,500 customers were still without electricity late Friday afternoon. Crews expected to have all power restored by late last night.
Ameren brought workers from other parts of Missouri to the St. Louis area to help with the recovery.
Ameren crews are still working to repair downed wires and snapped utility poles that cut the power for tens of thousands of customers on both sides of the river.
Ameren opened its Emergency Operation Center at 5 p.m. Thursday in order to coordinate the utility's response to wind-related power outages. At the peak, the untility reported more than 17,000 metro-east customers were without power and more than 43,000 Missouri customers were in the dark.
Thousands in north St. Louis county could be waiting another day or more before their power is restored after strong winds brought down trees and snapped power poles.
At 1:40 a.m. Friday, Ameren was reporting just over 13,000 St. Louis area customers in Missouri were still without power. The vast majority of them were in St. Louis County. Just over 1,400 remained in the dark in Illinois.
Drivers should prepare for lane closures starting Tuesday night, on Market Street in downtown St. Louis.
Ameren Missouri is starting work on the downtown revitalization project that will make improvements to underground equipment. Eastbound lanes will be closed between Broadway and Fourth Street into mid-March.
Ameren Missouri and Illinois crews are also dealing with the perilous conditions.
There are nearly 53-hundred customers in St. Clair County without power and 500 in Macoupin County without power in Illinois.
In Missouri, crews are working to restore power to a dozen customers in St. Charles and about 30 customers in St. Louis County. The St. Louis County customers have been affected by a downed power line at Lindbergh and Schuetz. Over 600 customers in Jefferson County are crossing their fingers that power will be restored to them soon.