Ameren was preparing for possible power outages resulting from recent flooding by moving mobile substations to affected areas, the company announced Tuesday.
When an outage happens, Ameren transitions power from the local substation to a mobile unit to supply customers.
Ameren has hundreds of permanent substations and 20 mobile ones, which are set up on flatbed trailers, according to company spokesperson Brian Bretsch.
“Our biggest issue with flooding is up north (near Peoria and La Salle),” Bretsch said.
Because the company was moving around its mobile substations, Bretsch couldn’t say how many were in the St. Louis region.
One in Pinckneyville had been turned on, but he couldn’t say whether it was because of the storm. Another was being brought to Murphysboro on Tuesday in response to potential flooding this week.
“With more rain in the forecast, customers must be vigilant in ensuring that when handling electric powered devices that they are not in contact with any water,” Btetsch wrote in an email, highlighting concerns energy-consumers may face if their homes are flooded or the power goes out.
He recommended that people with electric or gas problems call Ameren at 800-755-5000.
Ameren advised customers to exercise caution concerning their electric and gas appliances:
- Never enter a flooded basement or other flooded area where water may be in contact with electrical wiring, appliances and other devices.
- Never attempt to turn off power at the main electrical panel box if you must stand in water or on a wet floor to do so.
- Never use electrical appliances or devices or touch electrical switches, outlets or cords if you are standing in water or are on a wet surface, or even if you are wet or the device is wet.
- Before touching or unplugging electrical appliances or devices that have been in contact with water, turn off the circuit that feeds the appliance or have the power to the building disconnected.
- If you have any doubts about the safety of your home or business electrical system, have it inspected by a professional electrician.
Source: Ameren news release