Power restored across most of Heartland after icy weather disrupts service

Power restored across most of Heartland after icy weather disrupts service
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)
MoDOT and IDOT travel map of road conditions as of 12:30 p.m.
MoDOT and IDOT travel map of road conditions as of 12:30 p.m.
Tree down on Hwy. 34 in Bollinger Co., just before the 4-way intersection in Marble Hill. (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
Tree down on Hwy. 34 in Bollinger Co., just before the 4-way intersection in Marble Hill. (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)

(KFVS) - A First Alert Action Day was issued for the Heartland through Friday night, and residents across the Heartland are getting their power turned back on.

As of 9:35 a.m. on Sunday, the following counties in the Heartland are still experiencing outages:

Ameren outages in MO

St. Francois County - 402 (up since Saturday evening)

Iron County - 158 (up since Sunday evening)

Citizen Electric outages in MO

Ste. Genevieve County 58

Event cancellations/postponements

Several flights from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau, Mo. and Marion, Ill. have been canceled:

  • Cape Girardeau, Cape Air 1128 at 10:38 a.m.
  • Cape Girardeau, Cape Air 1132 at 1:48 p.m.
  • Cape Girardeau, Cape Air 1134 at 4:58 p.m.
  • Marion, Cape Air 1104 at 9:40 a.m.
  • Marion, Cape Air 1108 at 12:35 p.m.
  • Marion, Cape Air 1110 at 3:15 p.m.
  • Marion, Cape Air 1114 at 5:45 p.m.
  • Marion, Cape Air 1118 at 8:50 p.m.

You can check road conditions in your area here:

MO conditions

A tree was down on Highway 34 in Bollinger County, right before the four-way intersection in Marble Hill. According to MoDOT, crews are on the way to clear the tree.

IL conditions

According to the Saline County EMA, a big tree is down and blocking Harco Road. Crews are working to remove it.

A tree fell on a home in Grand Tower on 21st Street. There was reportedly extensive damage to the home but no one was hurt.

There was also a tree that fell across Highway 3 in Grand Tower. It has since been cleared off the road.

KYTC: Kentucky road conditions

According to the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet, as of 9:30 a.m. on Friday, the freezing rain on the radar has only made it south of the Ohio River in Union County and Henderson County. Crews in those counties report pavement surface temperatures are holding above the freezing mark.

As a precaution, Union County has a couple of trucks out salting the Shawneetown Bridge and other bridges around the northern part of the county. The Henderson crew has received no reports of icing. At this time, the freeze line appears to be moving northward back into Indiana.

Motorists are advised to maintain a high level of awareness and keep a close watch on local driving conditions.

MO Gov. Greitens declares state of emergency

On Thursday, Jan. 12, Gov. Eric Greitens declared a state of emergency during a press conference.

Following a meeting with key public safety leaders at the State Emergency Management Agency, Gov. Greitens gave a briefing on the scale of the threat, what Missouri's government is doing to manage the storm and what the public can do to be prepared.

On Wednesday, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued Executive Order No. 17-05 activating the Missouri State Emergency Operations Center in response to the weather.

He issued the following statement:

"I've directed the Department of Public Safety to activate the Missouri State Emergency Operations Center in anticipation of the severe winter storm expected to begin tomorrow night. We will keep the public updated, and the Department of Public Safety will keep people informed of best practices and the scale of the storm. Everyone should be aware that this potential weather event could disrupt travel and cause power outages across the state. We will be closely monitoring the situation as it develops. Our team is working closely with the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies to make safety through this storm our top priority."

According to DPS Director Drew Juden, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are already implementing their coordinated response plans to ensure that the right resources are in the areas where they are expected to be needed.

"With the forecast calling for much of Missouri to potentially be impacted by freezing rain and accumulating ice, the time to prepare is right now," Director Juden said.

Missouri preparations

The Missouri Department of Transportation is advising people to stay home Thursday night through the weekend.

MoDOT has classified the ice storm as a level one, meaning it's the highest level of concern for travel.

"Believe the plan for this evening is actually to go out with the rock salt and cinders and things like that, something a little more solid," said MoDOT engineer Brian Okenfuss. "We hope to get that out just in time before everything starts freezing so that way it's hopefully still in place and even if it does freeze, we hope you have a little bit of grit on the road."

All of the freezing rain, sleet and ice will make it difficult for drivers starting Friday morning.

"We're taking this storm pretty seriously," Okenfuss said. "We've been looking at it coming for the last couple days. Statewide, anytime you start talking about ice, it kind of really gets our attention. It can be very hard to deal with if you're not prepared for it, that's why we've had crews out today and then tonight to get ready pretreating the roads."

MoDOT officials say that ice is the most difficult storm to fight.

In Farmington, Missouri the Public Works crews spent a couple days preparing for the weather. They collected salt to put on the roads as soon as the roads freeze.

Electric crews in some Heartland counties began preparing for the winter weather on Wednesday. Workers with Citizens Electric Corporation in Perryville were fueling up their trucks and loading equipment in the event the storm brings widespread power outages.

Illinois preparations

Illinois State Police issued a Winter Weather Travel Advisory for the weekend. They are urging drivers to use caution, increase following distances and allow extra travel time to get to their final destinations.

Stranded motorists are encouraged to remain inside their vehicles with their seat belt on and wait for first responders to arrive. Drivers involved in accidents that do not require emergency assistance may file a crash report within 10 days by reporting it to the law enforcement agency within those jurisdictional boundaries.They are also reminding drivers of Scott's Law.

The Illinois Department of Transportation sent its night workers home early on Thursday so they can be prepared to take action early on Friday morning.

According to IDOT officials, due to the rain, they're waiting to treat the roads.

They're also encouraging people to stay home on Friday, if you can.

"You know, even a small amount of ice is hazardous for motorists, so we'd caution people to, you know, if you can avoid travel at that time that's the best solution but if you do have to go somewhere, give yourself plenty of time," said Keith Miley, operations engineer.

On Friday morning, Ameren Illinois opened its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate efforts to restore power outages that may occur as a result of the winter storm.

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.

Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, for Ameren Illinois, 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 ready to call in an additional 1,000 linemen and workers from other Midwest utilities.

He said Ameren Illinois is taking the following actions:

  • All emergency response and contract personnel have been alerted to prepare themselves and their families should conditions deteriorate
  • Weather conditions are being monitored for any changes that may impact service
  • Equipment is being readied including charging laptops, mobile devices and fueling our fleet so they are ready for immediate deployment
  • Ameren Illinois is deploying Storm Trailers to Maryville and Mount Vernon. These trailers are filled with materials field crews need to perform their restoration work. The trailers can be moved to various staging sites to provide support and resources to the area with the most damage

Pate reminded residents that it is vital to stay away from downed powers lines because they may still be energized.

If you see one, immediately report it to 800-755-5000.

During an outage, they ask that people stay inside after sunset because downed lines may not be visible. Stay away from brush, shrubs and fallen trees that may be hiding downed lines.

  • If you need to report a downed line or natural gas odor, call Ameren Illinois at 800-755-5000.
  • If your electric service is interrupted, be sure to unplug sensitive computer and electronic equipment or protect the device with a high-quality surge protector

Warming Centers

Iron County Emergency Management have put the following buildings on "stand by" as warming shelters:

  • South Iron Community Center in Annapolis
  • Signer Senior Center in Arcadia
  • Arcadia Valley Middle School Gym and Cafeteria in Ironton
  • Quad County Fire Protection District in Viburnum

According to the Iron County EMA, individual warming shelters will only be opened "as needed" after a loss of electricity occurs. If you or someone you know needs to use a shelter, you can contact the Iron County Sheriff's Department at 573-546-7051.

Winter weather safety tips

Several agencies have offered safety tips. Everything from generator safety, to how to walk in snow and ice, to how to drive in icy conditions.

Charge devices/download the apps

Now is the time to plan and make sure your mobile devices charged.

Make sure you have downloaded the KFVS first alert weather app. Just search "kfvs" in your app store!

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