About 40,000 Ameren Missouri customers lost power in the storms that rolled through a week ago. But the utility company says its prepared for the worst Mother Nature can throw our way as peak tornado season begins.
Ameren Missouri spokesman Mike Cleary says recent storms have not been typical for this time of year, they were more like summer storms while we’re still into winter. However, as spring rolls in, so does peak tornado season, and he says Ameren Missouri is ready.
He says the utility has been burying lines where possible so as to make systems more storm resistant, but even those aren’t completely storm-proof in the event of major damage.
Cleary says having utility crews near areas likely to be affected helps get systems up and running again sooner after a damaging storm. And he says once an area is knocked off the power grid, those crews have supplies already in place. The utility has six tractor trailers pre-loaded with about $100,000 worth of equipment that is typically needed after a storm downs lines, poles and transformers.
He says there are also several weather forecasting models used to try to predict which areas might be affected, so that crews can be mobilized before it ever happens.
When the power went out in recent storms, Cleary says crews had power restored within a couple days, but there is some damage to transformers and power lines and poles that utility workers are still working to repair.
He reminds customers to never touch downed lines or try to remove debris from electric lines. Always call your utility provider immediately. Ameren Missouri can be reached at 1-800-552-7583.
The Department of Public Safety urges all Missourians to participate in the March 10 statewide tornado drill (postponed from original date, March 8), and has posted a host of resources to aid families and individuals in being prepared for the worst. Find those safety tips here.