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|Utility Crews Working Around the Clock to Restore Power
|[p]updated 10:16 a-m, 12/19/8 The freezing precipitation that began falling Thursday night left a thick coat of ice in its wake, downing power lines and making roads dangerous to drive on.
The ice measured a half-inch thick by 1:00 Friday morning, and the state transportation department says nearly all area interstates and roadways remain at least partially covered with ice and snow as crews continue to battle the storm's leftovers. That, in turn, prompted area school districts to call of school on Friday.
Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice that built up on power lines and tree limbs resulted in more than 42,000 Ameren IP Illinois customers without power. The Ameren utilities began experiencing significant outages around 11:00 Thursday night and the numbers continued to climb until dawn. Most of the outages occurred in an area stretching from Macomb to Champaign. Officials say a significant number of the power outages should be restored by midnight Friday, and the goal is to have nearly all of the power back on to affected customers by Saturday night.
In addition, the Spoon River Electric Cooperative says crews have been out since 2 a-m trying to restore electricity. Officials say 16 of 27 circuits were without power and the hardest hit areas were Smithfield, Breeds and Glasford. They say it's not clear at this point how long the outages will last.
The McDonough Power Cooperative is also reporting extensive power outages across its seven-county system. President/CEO Steve Epperson says all substations were affected and the worst of the outages are in Good Hope, Macomb, Colchester, Table Grove and Industry. All the co-op's employees have been activated to fight the outage and they're getting help from a contractor to the get the power back on as soon as possible.
|12 18 08 by Newsroom
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