Always ready: Ameren stresses preparedness

2013-05-07T00:00:00Z 2013-09-13T11:24:13Z Always ready: Ameren stresses preparednessBY ADAM TESTA, THE SOUTHERN The Southern
May 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MARION — As the four-year anniversary of the May 8, 2009, derecho approaches, Ameren Illinois officials remind the public to be prepared for and cautious during storms and inclement weather.

Ameren invited members of the media to visit its Southern Illinois emergency operations center and explore of one of the utility company’s five disaster recovery trailers.

“Our job is to keep the lights on and the gas flowing,” George Justice, Ameren’s Southern Illinois division director, said. “Our message has been put into practice many times in the past few years.”

With the 2009 derecho, the Harrisburg tornado last year and a bevy of thunderstorms and other smaller-scale weather emergencies, Ameren crews have been put to the test. In the four years since the derecho, though, the company has learned several lessons and improved some of its response planning, Justice said.

Ameren, which traditionally trimmed trees along utility lines every four years, has now added mid-cycle inspections on all lines, clearing branches as needed.

Weather forecasts are now being monitored closely, and if it seems that a storm has potential to cause a service outage, Ameren mobilizes teams in advance, preparing to attack the issue head on. Teams, as well as the emergency trailers, can be deployed up to a day early.

“We’re ready 24/7 to meet the challenge of storms,” Justice said.

The disaster recovery trailers are based in central Illinois and poised to be in place anywhere in the state in a matter of hours. Ameren Illinois has five trailers, and the company’s Missouri branch has six that can be brought in if needed.

These trucks contain 200 different items that could be needed to restore service on 100 poles and 400 service jobs. Some carry poles, transformers and other large items.

“We can put a whole town on,” Larry Bevington, superintendent of supply chain operations, said when asked how many customers could have power restored by the materials in each truck. “They are very significant in our operations right now.”

In the wake of a weather emergency or disaster, there are important tips for the public to remember. Justice said people should avoid downed wires or areas covered by tree limbs or brush that could be hiding downed wires. All wires should be assumed to be electrically charged and active, he said.

People also need to avoid touching any electrical items that are wet or damp and trying to turn off the power to a house if the floor is wet. With recent flooding concerns, these become especially important guidelines, Justice added.

In the event of a potential gas leak, people need to alert Ameren immediately and leave the house.

“There’s nothing more concerning than when we get to a place and a customer says, ‘We’ve been smelling this for a couple of days,”” Justice said.


Copyright 2015 The Southern. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Illinois American Water’s Cairo District celebrates 16 years of excellence in safety

Illinois American Water’s Cairo District reached a significant safety milestone this month, going 16 years without experiencing any lost-time … New

51 minutes ago(0)
Rednour home is a showpiece of the Du Quoin State Fairground

Rednour home is a showpiece of the Du Quoin State Fairground

Wanda Rednour’s home is far from the first home she shared with her late husband and former Du Quoin mayor, John Rednour. New

51 minutes ago Photos


Related (0)

Makanda woman recognized by Pampered Chef

Cheryl Bovee of Makanda received an award from Pampered Chef for personal sales of more than $55,000 and organizational team sales of more tha… New

1 hour ago(0)
Cafes, eateries serve as community centers for some small towns

Cafes, eateries serve as community centers for some small towns

Dixie King knows just about everybody’s order who walks through the Dixie Cup Café in Pinckneyville on a given day. New

1 hour ago Photos


Related (0)
Haubold retires from Pepsi after 33 years

Haubold retires from Pepsi after 33 years

Pepsi MidAmerica gathered recently to celebrate the outstanding career of Jo Anne Haubold.

2 hours ago(0)

Birth Announcements

BLOODWORTH, Keri and Casey, a daughter, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

3 hours ago(0)

Slain US marshal's fiancee gets 1 year for charity theft

EAST ST. LOUIS — The fiancee of a deputy U.S. marshal killed in a 2011 house raid has been sentenced to 366 days in federal prison for stealin…

5 hours ago(0)

Officials say house fire that killed 2 in Chicago suspicious

CHICAGO — Chicago Fire Department officials say a blaze that engulfed a home in minutes and killed two men is suspicious.

6 hours ago(0)

Two hurt in Saline County crash

Two people suffered injuries after a single vehicle crash Saturday in Saline County, according to Illinois State Police.

7 hours ago(0)