COLLINSVILLE, (WCIA) — Power utility officials said their crews and storm support personnel worked throughout Saturday night and early Sunday morning to restore services to more than 17,900 customers in the state following two severe storms.
A press release from Ameren Illinois said it activated its Emergency Operations Center at 10 p.m. Saturday to coordinate its restoration, logistical support, and communication.
“Crew members reported that the bulk of the damage was a result of trees falling on power lines with more than 100 downed poles and wires,” the release stated, adding Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria were the hardest hit.
In an email interview, Ameren representative Tucker Kennedy said significant tree damage knocked down poles and wires, including seven wires and four distribution poles in the Champaign area and 11 wires and six poles in Gillman.
“We will have 105 personnel working today in the Champaign Metro area to safely restore any remaining outages,” Kennedy added.
The Ameren representative also said 21 wires and 10 poles were downed in the Decatur area, along with nine wires, 40 distribution poles, and four higher-voltage sub-transmission poles in the Bloomington-Normal area.
As of 11:20 a.m. Sunday, 308 customers in Champaign County were listed as without power, according to Ameren’s Outage Center webpage. In Macon County, a total of 2,148 customers were also experiencing outages at that time.
About 480 Ameren personnel were still working Sunday morning to restore the remaining power outages in the state. The release also said more field workers arrived throughout the night and will continue to be called-in throughout Sunday.
“In the immediate aftermath of the Saturday’s severe weather events, we mobilized tree removal personnel and electric line resources to the affected areas,” said Ameren’s Dave Wakeman, senior Vice President of Operations and Technical Services. “With daylight, we’re getting a good look at the extent of the damage we sustained to our infrastructure. This was a powerful storm that knocked down hundreds of large trees. We’ll be working throughout the day to restore power as safely and efficiently as possible.”