Ameren is more than doubling its workforce to assist with hurricane damage. Ameren has already sent 100 linemen and 100 contractors to New Jersey to help repair damage to the electric lines.

The company now says it’s committing an additional 150 linemen and field support personnel and 50 more contractors to the region.

Those workers are already staged in Somerset, N.J. The first group arrived Sunday afternoon and is ready to assist power restoration efforts after Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.

Ameren Missouri Safety Supervisor Tom French said employees have met with Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) officials to discuss workers’ safety and have stocked Ameren trucks with equipment to restore electricity.

“PSE&G is very well organized. They have line and tree trimming crews all staged around town,” French said. “When you arrive early to an event of this magnitude, you have to wait for the hurricane to arrive, wait for it to be over and wait for the work to be organized. We have to follow the same policies and procedures and carefully plan our work to do it safely.”

“Our crews are stationed about a half-mile from PSE&G’s staging area so we will be ready to mobilize quickly once we’re given the go ahead,” said Robert Collison, superintendent of Electric Operations, who is leading the Ameren Illinois team. “As we wait to deploy, we are using the time to continuously reinforce our safety principles. We’re eager to work, but we won’t begin until we’re sure it is safe.”

About a dozen volunteers from the Springfield Red Cross have left for the New York area to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Spokesman Greg Gaines says there will be a second round of volunteers deployed once Sandy makes landfall. The American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region is sending 14 volunteers and five emergency response vehicles to help.