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The Public Service Commission says AmerenUE responded accordingly during severe August thunderstorms in St. Louis.

November 2, 2005
By: Kelly Snyder
State Capital Bureau

August thunderstorms in St. Louis left more than 200 thousand people without power for several days, but a Public Service Commission report says AmerenUE responded adequately.

Kelly Snyder tells us what the report found about AmerenUE's response to the severe thunderstorms and the commission's recommendations for improvement.

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The commission found that AmerenUE responded to the thunderstorms in accordance with their emergency plan.

However, commission member Warren Wood says the time estimates of power outages provided to AmerenUE customers were not always realistic.

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Contents: Because of a limited number of crews and the amount of work that needs to be done the estimate time provided by that algorithm becomes pretty innaccurate.

AmerenUE Spokesperson Mike Cleary says the system that estimates power outage time can break down during major storms.

He says he is pleased with AmerenUE's response and will continue to work on the system.

From the State Capitol, I'm Kelly Snyder.

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A Missouri Public Service Commission report says AmerenUE adequately responded when an August thunderstorm in St. Louis knocked out power for several days for more than 200 thousand people.

Kelly Snyder has more on the commission's recommendations for future storms.

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The commission reports AmerenUE's time estimates for power outages were not always accurate.

AmerenUE Spokesperson Mike Cleary says the system can fail during major storms.

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Contents: This is never going to be perfect. It follows a certain algorithm that gives you an estimated restore time. In a major storm the system breaks down. We continue to tinker with it and refine it to a certain extent.

Cleary says AmerenUE responded as best they could under extreme circumstances.

He says they will continue to make improvements to their system.

From the State Capitol, I'm Kelly Snyder.

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When August thunderstorms left more than 200 thousand people in St. Louis without power for days, a Public Service Report says AmerenUE responded accordingly.

Kelly Snyder tells us what improvements the commission suggests could be made to AmerenUE's emergency plan.

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AmerenUE provides automated time estimates of power outages to customers.

The Public Service Commission says some customers received inaccurate estimates.

AmerenUE Spokesperson Susan Gallagher says under normal conditions, estimates are realistic.

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Contents: During storm periods, that whole algorithm by which this program is set goes to the wind because it is overwhelmed with callers and overwhelmed with outages.

Gallagher says AmerenUE is searching for a system that would provide accurate times, but has not found one yet.

From the State Capitol, I'm Kelly Snyder.