The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) have used materials such as utility poles and wire valued at more than $2.25 million in the work to get the power flowing to customers following the inland hurricane that caused widespread damage in Southern Illinois.
At 5:30 p.m. yesterday, about 1,000 linemen were still at work to turn the lights back on for about 11,700 customers. A large number of these customers were to have their power back by late last night or early this morning, though scattered outages would persist into today. At the peak, 68,800 customers were without power.
Since the storm restoration effort began, the AIU workforce, which peaked at 2,200 field and support personnel, have used 1,350 utility poles, about 135 miles of electric wire, 21,000 insulators, 110 transformers and 340,000 other items to replace or repair damaged equipment and facilities.
In addition, the Ameren Illinois Utilities have mobilized more than 1,200 pieces of equipment, including line trucks, bucket trucks, backhoes, bulldozers and even helicopters and boats. A total of about 60,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel have been used to keep the equipment operating.
The Ameren Illinois Utilities self insure the risks associated with the costs of restoring service following storms. In addition, as investor-owned utilities, AIU is not eligible to receive government assistance funds or low-cost loans associated with disaster recovery.
Up-to-date information on the electrical service restoration effort as well as safety advice and weather reports is available at IllinoisOutage.com. Also, the Web site features photos and videos of the storm damage and service restoration effort.