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Distribution System

In power outages—especially those that result from storm damage—restoration crews focus on those repairs that will restore power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.
 

Distribution System

 

The typical restoration process:

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Our restoration crews begin with main lines—those that can restore power to perhaps thousands of people.

   

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Then they move to primary lines that can affect hundreds.

   

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Next, they move to secondary lines that affect dozens.

   

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And finally to service drops at individual homes.

 

Here's how the power flows from the power plant to your house:

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Electricity travels from the power plant over high-voltage transmission lines.
 

   

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At a substation, the electricity’s voltage is lowered so that it can travel over the distribution system.

   

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Main lines carry electricity to secondary lines.
 

   

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Service lines carry electricity to neighborhoods.
 

   

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Service drops carry electricity from pole-mounted transformers—which lower the voltage again—to your home.

 

Note that if a substation is damaged, all customers “downstream” from the substation may be affected. In addition, even when primary lines have been repaired, you may have a problem with your secondary line, your transformer or the service drop to your home that keeps you in the dark even when your neighbors’ lights are back on!

 

What Happens When a Power Outage Strikes

When you call us to report a power outage, a work order is generated for each call received. The orders are sent through our outage management system for analysis to determine the outage's most likely cause. Orders are then dispatched to troubleshooters who go to the locations of the outages to assess the problem. If the troubleshooters can't repair the problem, a line crew is called out to make repairs.

In less severe storms or other smaller outages, we may be able to provide you with an estimated restoration time. However in major storms, it may not be possible to provide meaningful restoration information due to the extent of the damage and the volume of information and phone calls coming into our system.

 

However, we can assure you that

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Our highly trained work force is dedicated to stepping in when major storms hit. People from all departments participate in the effort to ensure power is restored as quickly and safely as possible.

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Our line crews from throughout our Missouri and Illinois service territory will be reassigned to damaged areas to help us respond more quickly during major storms

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Our agreements with out-of-town utility crews will bring in extra assistance if the situation requires it.

 

In addition, our entire staff of customer service representatives is on-call during major outages of extended duration. Our interactive and highly automated voice response system allows us to handle thousands of calls simultaneously. And, personnel from our Corporate Communications department are available seven days a week to provide the media with outage information when requested.

 
 
 

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