More than 32,000 Missourians woke up this morning without power the aftereffects of an ice storm that slammed into mid-Missouri and drove through the northeastern portion of the state. AmerenUE , the state’s largest electric utility, reports that 32,000 of its customers remain without power. At the peak of the power outage, as many as 44,000 Ameren customers didn’t have power. Many rural electric cooperatives in central and northeast Missouri report thousands of customers are without electricity this morning.

Jefferson City and south to the Lake of the Ozarks seem to have been the hardest hit by the storm that brought heavy rain to the region early Sunday morning that then changed to ice. AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary says that ice either brought down power lines by itself or weighed down tree branches which broke and snapped power lines underneath. Cleary says the utility cannot give an estimate about when power might be restored, because the weather remains uncertain. More than 600 linemen will fan out across the Ameren service area today in an effort to bring homes back on line.

The National Weather Service has predicted another bout of ice will hit Missouri this evening and possibly into tomorrow.

Download/listen Brent Martin interview with AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary (3:30 MP3)