Updated 9:45 p.m. Thursday
Scattered power outages are affecting hundreds of residents of East Central Illinois.
Ameren reports on its outage website that power is out for about 600 customers in Champaign, mostly in ZIP codes 61821 and 61822. Also affected by the outage are Savoy.
All told, Champaign County has about 600 residents without power; Coles, 1,500; DeWitt, 440; Douglas, 100; Vermilion, 1,400; and a handful in Ford and Piatt counties.
Here's Ameren's release about the situation throughout Illinois:
Ameren Illinois continues to experience outages throughout its service territory as a strong winter storm packing high winds moves through the state.
Despite the continued strong winds and hazardous working conditions, Ameren Illinois field personnel and support staff continue to make good progress in restoring service.
Continued severe weather conditions are in the forecast for the remainder of the day. Sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph with gusts of up to 55 mph are predicted that will create near blizzard conditions in some areas. These weather conditions could slow service restoration efforts and cause new outages.
Residents should be on the alert for downed electrical wires and stay away from any downed wires. Furthermore, stay away from brush, downed trees and limbs and any debris that may conceal downed power lines.
If you see a fallen or sagging wire, assume that it is still energized and dangerous. Electric power lines may remain energized even after being knocked to the ground. Stay away and warn others to do the same. Call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000 to report downed wires.
Customers planning to use a portable generator must first open the main breaker or remove the main fuses before connecting the generator to the electrical systems. Failure to do this could seriously injure utility crews working on outside power lines, and/or cause damage to a neighbor's property or the customer's own equipment. Customers must never use a portable generator indoors, including in a home, garage, basement, shed or partially-enclosed area – even with ventilation because of the threat of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Outage information is available at www.IllinoisOutage.com. Users can find outages listed by zip code and by county. The website also includes safety and weather information.
Those using mobile devices are invited to visit www.Ameren.Mobi for outage information. This site is specially designed for mobile devices.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles.
For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Routine updates will be posted on Twitter @AmerenIllinois.