Electric companies prepare for possible outages

Electric companies prepare for winter weather
Updated: Jan. 11, 2018 at 7:05 PM CST
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PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Electric companies across the Heartland are gearing up for the winter storm that will pass over the area Thursday night into Friday which could cause power outages.

The incident management teams for Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois will continue monitoring the weather system so they can quickly deploy staff and contractor personnel to the location of a service disruption.

Citizen's Electric Corporation, a cooperative that has 26,000 meters in four southeast Missouri Counties recently built three warehouses.

Citizen's communications specialist Shawn Seabaugh said the new facilities provide an indoor environment for power restoration trucks so that crew no longer need to de-ice the vehicles before responding to an outage.

"Crews make sure everything is gassed and ready for the next day,"Seabaugh said. "Because no matter what the forecast is, there can always be an animal that gets in the way, or an accident that involves a pole. We are storm hardened and ready to go 24/7 and 365."

Seabaugh added that sleet and snow doesn't stick to power lines, but that any inclement weather situation is worth preparing for especially with the chance of ice.

"We're optimistic that it won't be enough freezing rain to really damage a lot of lines or widespread lines," he said.

The traveling public should also drive cautiously during the wintery start to the weekend, especially when passing by any electric company vehicle that is fixing a service disruption.

"With this particular weather pattern the ground isn't frozen so there is a lot of mud," Seabaugh said. "Our crew may be parked closer to the roads so that they don't sink the trucks. When you drive by give them the room that they need to be safe."

Any CEC customer can download their smart phone app to report a power outage or can be called directly.

Other electric utilities in the Heartland can be called directly to be notified about downed power lines or other service problems.

"It's still important to call and let us know," Seabaugh said. "Because there may be more than just that outage."

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