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Widespread Power Outage Affects Five Counties
UPDATED September 5, 5:42 p.m.
A large-scale power outage in central Illinois left customers in multiple counties--including vital emergency services--without electricity this afternoon. Parts of Cass, Mason, Sangamon, Morgan, and Menard counties lost power around 2:52 p.m.
The Menard County 911 center has a backup generator, but according to Sheriff Chuck Jones, it did not stop power from being disturbed.
"For the first few minutes, we were completely dead," Jones said. "No power. Nothing at all. A short time later, we recovered power and we started receiving 911 calls again, and everything was fine."
Jones believes something in the outage--possibly a surge or spike--caused the generator to malfunction. He said they had to reboot the entire system to get it functioning again.
According to Ameren Illinois, power was restored to the entire area around 3:50 p.m.
While the 911 center was without power, calls were successfully diverted to another county's 911 system. No calls were missed.
The outage also impacted about 3,000 customers from Menard Electric Cooperative.
UPDATED September 5, 4:15 p.m.
An Ameren representative tells us power has been restored to all Ameren customers as of 3:50 p.m. Ameren is still investigating the cause of the outage.
UPDATED September 5, 4:00 p.m.
A representative from Menard Electric Cooperative tells us an Ameren transmission line failed, causing roughly 3,000 of the outages. The line provides power to eight Menard Electric Cooperative substations.
Ameren officials are working to restore power to substations. No word on when it will be fully restored.
UPDATED September 5, 3:53 p.m.
We're learning the widespread power outage also affects some customers in Morgan and Cass counties. Click here to see a map of Ameren outages.
UPDATED September 5, 3:44 p.m.
The Menard County sheriff tells us 911 service has been restored.
UPDATED September 5, 3:35 p.m.
A power outage is affecting more than 8,500 people in Sangamon, Mason, and Menard Counties. Menard County officials are currently working to restore 911 service in the area.
The outage affects customers of both Ameren and Menard Electric Cooperative.
No word on the cause of the outage at this time.
We'll keep you updated.
Click here to see a map of Ameren outages by zip code.