A power outage in the city affected an undetermined number of Ameren customers Sunday evening and left police dispatchers unable to answer or dispatch calls.
The outage was reported aabout 5 p.m. and service was restored about 7:05 p.m. Sunday.
Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks said Sunday’s outage underscores the need for a backup generator.
“We have been stressing the urgency of passing the budget amendment, but we have not been able to get it passed,” she said. “Now, we have a situation where I could not get into my office. We have seniors in our city who are on oxygen.”
Former East St. Louis Mayor Alvin L. Parks, Jr. said he was aware that the city did not have a back up generator
“One of the things we were trying to do was move the city towards the St. Clair County dispatching system,” he said. “That would have meant that the dispatching services would have gone to St. Clair County. There would have been no need to invest in a backup system.
“It’s obvious the dispatching system is what the citizens have to call to get city services like police, fire, public works, regulatory affairs.”
Parks said he was not worried about losing city records.
“The city had a good computer system or did have when I left,” Parks said. He said each department could back things up on disks.
“When the computers were built. They were built with the understanding that from time to time you’d be without power,” Parks said.
Jackson-Hicks insists the city needs a back up generator to be able to help the citizens in time of need.
“The generator is not just for dispatching,” she said.