UPDATE 6:52PM OCT 13: Ameren says approximately 1,200 customers have had service restored to their residence. The estimated return to service for the remaining 460 customers is expected to be 7:30PM.
The west side of Jacksonville dealt with a major power outage this afternoon due to strong winds downing a tree limb that caught fire after severing a power line.
Representatives of the Jacksonville Fire Department, South Jacksonville Fire Department, and Ameren-Illinois were called out to a power line and downed tree limb that had caught fire on Mound Road at Sycamore Street at approximately 3:30PM.
Brian Bretsch, Communications Executive with Ameren-Illinois, says a sizable limb fell on to a primary power line causing the limb to catch fire. At the same time, the limb burnt up a section of the power line causing it to drop to the ground. Ameren crews have been in the area assessing damage and re-routing customers where they could to restore service. According to the Ameren Outage Map approximately 1,670 customers were affected by the outage.
Bretsch says that full service should be restored at approximately 6:45PM this evening.
The entire WLDS/WEAI listening area remains under a red flag warning for consistently high winds, low humidity, and the easy ability to spread any kind of fire outdoors. Burn bans are in effect in some portions of the area due to the warning. The National Weather Service says the heightened fire danger may persist through the weekend.