AmerenUE in Missouri has brought in 640 lineworkers from outside the area to assist central Missouri crews with power restoration following the recent ice storm. Of the additional lineworkers, 470 are from other utilities or contractors -- some from as far away as North Carolina. AmerenUE reports 500 tree-trimming crews are also on the scene, and an additional 200 lineworkers are heading toward the area.
As of yesterday morning, about 20,000 AmerenUE customers from the Jefferson City area through the Lake of the Ozarks remained without power -- down from a peak of 25,000 at the height of the storm. An additional 5,300 customers were without power in the Montgomery, Warren, Lincoln and Pike county area, which was also hit hard by the storm -- down from a peak of 19,500.
"We've actually restored service to tens of thousands of customers, but with ice forming and reforming on lines and tree limbs, some people have lost power and had it restored again multiple times," said Larry Merry, manager of AmerenUE's Central Ozarks Division. "For that reason, some customers have shown up in the outage totals a number of times."
In addition to all the additional personnel AmerenUE has brought into the area, Merry says the company has brought in three "storm trailers" -- each stocked with more than $100,000 in equipment such as crossarms, insulators, wire, and a range of other gear needed to make storm repairs. Multiple shipments of utility poles have also been delivered to the area.
"The ice has begun melting and we're pouring resources into the area to help get everyone's power back on soon," Merry adds.