Tens of thousands still without power day after storms roll thro - KMOV.com


Tens of thousands still without power day after storms roll through

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Storms that rolled through the St. Louis area left behind damage and power outages Wednesday. 

In Jefferson County, a tree fell on a car near the intersection of State Road and TT. Jefferson County officials say at least eight homes have suffered structural damage, mostly in the southern part of the county.

According to Ameren, more than 165,000 were without power in Missouri and Illinois after the storms. Around 10:30 p.m., there were just under 95,000 people without power. By 4:00 p.m. Thursday, the company reported around 72,000 remained without power. By 12:00 p.m. Friday, the utility said around 31,000 people still had no power. Ameren said it is the biggest outage they have seen in years.

Dave Wakeman, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations for Ameren Missouri said, “There will be many people without power over night and really past that it’s hard to say until we get a better handle on the damage assessment.”

Wakeman said Ameren Missouri had 600 people working to restore power Wednesday. On Thursday morning, the number of workers was up to 1,200. Ameren Missouri and Illinois says there are 1,400 workers working during the night on July 14 to get the power back. 

According to Wakeman, Ameren Missouri is working on bringing crews in from across the state, as well as bringing in workers from other utility companies.

Wakeman urges anyone to report their power outage if they have not done already. 

Wakeman said it will take 24 hours for crews to clean up and get power restored to majority of the areas, but the last customers may not have it restored until Saturday. He said their first priority is to assess the damage.

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The area around Kirkwood, Sunset Hills, Fenton and Valley Park was hard hit by outages. So was St. Charles County.

One homeowner in Kirkwood said she is picking up the pieces after a tree fell on her house located at Angenette Avenue and Thomas Avenue off Lindbergh Boulevard.

The homeowner, Angie Fuss, said she is devastated but she is thankful no one was hurt. Fuss says she is hoping there is a chance to rebuild her home. In the meantime, Fuss says she and her son will be staying with relatives.

In unincorporated St. Louis County near Fenton, Larry Webb was inside his garage when the storm brought a tree crashing down on his garage. He said he was closing a window because of the strong winds. Webb said he was glad he was able to get out in time without any injuries.

Webb also said the tree landed on top of his car.

According to Webb, there are several trees down on the street, making it difficult to navigate through the neighborhood.

At the St. Louis Zoo, a tree fell on a vehicle, but no significant injuries were reported.

A woman in South City says she is the only one on her street without power. Demetria Evans says a neighbor's tree fell during the storm, cutting power only to her home on Chippewa Street.

Evans says she needs the power back on to sleep and to charge her wheelchair to travel. Ameren told Evans they are working to prioritize demand for all its affected customers and power should be back on for most customers in the next few days. 

A tree fell onto a home in DeSoto and in north St. Louis County. There are reports of tree limbs down all across the area. Power lines also snapped in Soulard.

“Stay away from downed power lines, assume any line that’s down is energized; keep other people away,” said Wakeman.

A Pasta House Co. restaurant in Arnold suffered roof damage.

Southwestern St. Louis was hit hard. Workers with the St. Louis Forestry Department have been busy in the neighborhood clearing downed trees and other debris. Residents have been bringing crews water to show their appreciation.

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