As of yesterday, December 5, there are approximately 180,000 Electrical Utility Ameren customers still without power in the midwest due to a massive ice storm that occurred last Friday, December 1. The storm knocked out the power to more than 500,000 businesses and residences. Since then, power has been restored to 320,000 businesses and residences. However, with no power, these homes have no heat, and with the lowering temperatures outside, many families are in danger.
Due to extensive damage to the electric service entrances at customers' homes, the repairs are taking time, and the services of an electrical contractor may be required to re-attach or repair customer-owned facilities, such as the meter base, weatherhead or point of attachment. It is up to the customer to diagnose this problem and call an EC, so if you're in the area, see if you can lend a hand. Ameren, the utility, expects most of their customers' power to be restored by the end of Wednesday, December 6 with the remainder in the following days; however, these damages will delay restoration to customer homes, and they have already been without power for almost a week.
Update, Dec. 11: Ameren reported that all repairs had been made on Dec. 8 and asked that any customers who had to make repairs to the meterbase, weatherhead or point of attachment call call to have power reconnected. The utility recieved help from thousands of workers from 14 states who repaired and installed an estimated 391 miles of wiring. Despite the public criticism of the utility and the 19 deaths that have been blamed on the storm, we would like to commend those who lent a hard-working hand. EC