Flooding this past weekend knocked out power for tens of thousands of Missourians. It also has created a real danger.

AmerenUE reports it has restore power to 86,000 of its customers, with most customers in the St. Louis area restored. Ameren reports that 4,300 St. Louis City and County customers remain without power. It expects to have those homes back on by the end of the day.

Hurricane Ike brought storms with high straight winds and a lot of rain to Missouri, hitting the St. Louis area and southeast Missouri especially high. Ameren says 12,000 customers remain without power. It’s harder to get a grip on just how many Missourians remain in the dark tonight, because the storm damage was so widespread. Jim McCarty, a spokesman for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives , says rural electric co-ops are dealing with tens of thousands of customers without electricity and restoration efforts have overtaken attempts to count how many are without electricity.

Both Ameren and the rural electric co-ops have called on additional workers to help restore power. McCarty, in fact, told the Missourinet he wants customers to be assured that workers once sent to the Gulf to help in hurricane relief have returned and have been put to work in Missouri. McCarty says the slowest going is in southeast Missouri, all the way to the Bootheel.

Ameren spokesman Mike Cleary says the St. Louis-based utility wants customers to be cautious in wake of the flooding. A few tips are in order. Cleary cautions against walking in a flooded basement or in outside floodwaters without knowing whether power lines have come in contact with the water. Residents should even approach chain link fences with caution. A power line could fall on a metal fence in contact with floodwaters, charging the water. Don’t turn off power at the main electrical power box in your home if you have to stand in water to do so. Don’t simply walk into a flooded basement without checking to see if electric lines are in contact with the water or whether electric appliances might be in contact with the water. Also, don’t operate power tools while standing in water.

One more tip, if boating to your home, watch out for overhead lines. You’re closer to them than when you stood on dry ground.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports. (:60 MP3)