Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  A lot of folks in this area remember sweating through the summer of ’06 when a heat wave overwhelmed Ameren’s power grid, causing lengthy outages.

Today, we’re getting assurances from the agency that we’re not in for a repeat of that uncomfortable time.

“We’re prepared for this kind of heat,” Ameren VP of Customer Operations Dave Wakeman told KMOX Total Information hosts Doug McElvein and Debbie Monterrey Thursday. “We’ve been making investments in reliability in our system over the last several years and I think we’re going to be in good shape for today.”

But of course “today” isn’t the only concern — in fact according to the National Weather Service it’s merely the prelude to a mind-melting stretch in which the mercury could hit triple digits well into next week, maybe even the 4th of July itself.

Wakeman admitted that will indeed put a strain on the system, but added that they have reserves of power at their generating plants that can be called upon as needed in the sweltering days ahead.

He said surprisingly the most critical time for them may come when the sun isn’t beating down on St. Louis.

“The warmer it stays overnight the more stress on the system, the more heat builds up,” Wakeman pointed out.

Along with the record high temperatures that are poised to be shattered, Ameren officials say they may be looking at new highs for electricity generation before temperatures drop back down into saner territory.


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