Metro-East News

Ameren prepares for the worst in light of tornado watch, severe weather warning

Southern Illinois is under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Southern Illinois is under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

As southern Illinois residents brace for severe weather brought on by a cold front moving through the region, Ameren Illinois officials are preparing for emergency response.

Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, the company activated an Emergency Operations Center, a news release stated. This operation will coordinate responses as needed with Ameren employees who are on call in case of service disruptions.

“Given the prediction for severe weather this evening, Ameren Illinois is taking appropriate steps to be able to quickly and safely address disruptions to the system should that become a concern this evening,” Ron Pate, senior vice president of operations and technical services, said in the release.

In addition, the company has trucks fueled and stocked with supplies. If the situation calls for it, the release stated, the company has storm trailers.

Meteorologists and Ameren officials are advising people in the area to take precautions, if necessary, and be prepared.

“One of the most important things customers can do ahead of a storm is to stay informed on the weather conditions,” Pate said in the release. “A weather radio is a good tool to have because it provides a signal that dangerous conditions are approaching. This is also an excellent time to take stock of the supplies available in your emergency kit. Make sure your flashlight is working, you have extra batteries and your cell phone is fully charged.”

The following counties are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m.: Alexander, Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Edwards, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jersey, Johnson, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White and Williamson.

Ameren will update residents on outages and other storm-related information on their Twitter page throughout Tuesday night.