ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – (UPDATED 9:47 p.m.) A relatively quiet day for Ameren has ramped up this evening as thousands in Jefferson County are now without power.
Ameren Missouri’s outage map shows over 6,500 customers are without power in Jefferson County, as well as more than 600 in St. Francois County.
There are more than 7,000 customers, total, in Missouri without power.
Illinois’ outage map shows just over 800 customers are without power – mainly in Jackson and Williamson counties.
Our previous reporting is as follows:
Ameren says it’s been a relatively quiet day so far, but the system is starting to see some stress.
About 1,800 people are without power in Missouri — another 800 in Illinois, mainly in the Carbondale-area.
“We are looking closely at St. Francois County. We’re seeing some ice coming up there. We have mobile trailers out there – our storm trailers – ready,” says spokeswoman Brianne Vaught.
Vaught says they also have mobile trailers in House Springs and Columbia, and a mobile command center in Jefferson City.
Some 1,500 workers — including linesmen and tree trimmers — are on the clock working the storm.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is throwing more salt at this ice storm than any storm in recent memory — several thousand tons.
You can see it working on highways where traffic was rushing along at 50 mph, KMOX’s Kevin Killeen reports, but what about overnight when temperatures fall?
“It still melts down to 20,” says maintenance director Mark Croarkin. “You start getting in the teens — right now we’re mixing with beet juice in a lot of the areas, which lowers it even further, so we could get down in to the teens and the chemicals would work.”
But the less vehicles on the road, and the higher the temperatures, the better, he says.
“It’s just a matter of can we keep salt on the road.”
Croarkin says it’s a race to keep up with the freezing rain, which threatens to wash off the salt if it falls in a real downpour.
MetroLink trains have stopped running in parts of Illinois.
MetroLink spokeswoman Patti Beck says the problem begins when ice starts to form on the wires, making the contact not as strong, or perhaps broken, depending on how much ice is built up.
The train is shut down between the Fairview Heights and Shiloh Scott stations. Shuttle buses are filling the gaps. Expect 45-minute delays.
There have been no problems with MetroLink in Missouri, so far, and no problem with Metro buses.
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