Thousands without power just as bitter cold settles in for the rest of the week

Warming Centers, like the one at Trinity St. John Lutheran Church in Nashville, open to the public to help those in need

A widespread electric outage disrupted thousands of homes throughout southern Illinois on Tuesday morning, following a winter storm that dropped between 6 and 10 inches of snow throughout the area.

According to the Ameren power outage map, more than 15,000 customers were without power in Centralia and Mt. Vernon.

In Marion County, there were 19 reports with more than 6,800 customers without service. In Jefferson County, the storm knocked out power for 874 residents. Tri-County Electric stated that a total of 7,633 members were without electricity that involved a dozen substations.

Tri-County said they are aware of the issue, which was caused by a transmission line outage, and crews are working to switch substations to alternate feeds. An estimated restoration time has not been given.

“We know that it is bitterly cold and we are confident that work is being done to restore power as safely and quickly as possible,” the company said in a statement.

The power outage also impacted several customers in Perry County. As of late Tuesday morning, only two customers in Nashville and Washington County were reporting outages, with power restored to most of the eastern part.

Because widespread outage can overload phone lines, Tri-County Electric encouraged customers to download the Smarthub app as an alternative to calling about the disruption.

The winter storm that came through on Monday covered southern Illinois up to 10 inches of snow.

Temperatures dropped to as low as zero degrees Tuesday morning, and freezing temperatures were expected to continue through Friday, according to the National Weather Service. A winter storm advisory will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday with more snow expected. Total snow accumulations are projected to be up to two inches.

Areas that will be affected include portions of south central and southwestern Illinois along with some counties in Missouri. The list includes Washington, Clinton, St. Clair, Calhoun, Madison, Monroe and Randolph counties.

Warming Centers

In Washington County, there are three warming centers set up to help those stay safe during the dangerously cold temperatures. Those centers include:

Irvington: Irvington Fire Department, 706 S. 2nd St.(they also have other facilities opened/opening, if needed).

Nashville: Trinity Lutheran Church, 680 W. Walnut St.

Okawville: St. Barbara Catholic Church, 305 N. Front St.

In Jefferson County, Family Life Church has set up a shelter.

Washington County EMA Coordinator Matt Bierman said Tuesday that information about the centers was shared through the county’s Hyper reach system. Anyone who has been having difficulty getting out of their driveway can call and receive a ride to the center. More information can be found on the Washington County IL EMA Facebook page.

“We have opened three warming centers,” Bierman said. “We are here if they need us.”

Although there is a site to locate warming centers throughout Illinois, the search directory does not allow users to access the information.

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