When will the power come back on in Quincy

Photo Courtesy; Leigh Morris, Ameren Illinois

The big question many Quincy residents are asking is, "when will I get power back to my house?"

Ameren says it's doing all it can to get service back up and running. C rews from four states have descended on the area to restore electric service to more than 18,000 customers.

An Ameren crew from Effingham, Illinois has had boots on the ground in Quincy since Monday afternoon and has been restoring power ever since. Everything from power poles, supply lines, service lines to homes -- it's all on the list of work orders.

"This is probably one of the most significant outages I've been involved with. We had an ice storm back in 2006 in Decatur and that was significant. But this is probably one of the biggest ones I've been exposed to," according to Craig Gilson, division manager of Ameren.

Gilson has been with Ameren since 1982. He says the company monitors weather forecasts 24 hours a day and is aware of when bad weather approaches the area. He says the company uses a detailed plan when it comes to restoring electricity to homes and businesses. It all begins with assessments, which includes calls from customers who don't have power.

"We have a list of critical care facilities. So what we'll do is, whenever a storm comes through, first thing we do is see what critical care facilities are out. That's where we put our employees on critical care one facilities. Then we'll start looking at the circuits we can get restoration done and for the most people in the shortest amount of time," said Gilson.

The electric crews are assigned a central location, and orders are dispatched from there. Some repairs take a few minutes, while others take hours depending on the damage.

Meanwhile, cleanup continues for Quincy residents.

"I've never seen such a massive area that has been affected by the wind," said Roger Newell. "I can tell by just driving around town that they still have a lot of problems with electricity."

"We've been coming to Hyvee to hang out and eat until the electric comes on," said Connie Blunt. "It's crowded but it's a place to go."

"It's terribly inconvenient of course. But we went out for breakfast yesterday morning and my daughter brought us lunch, and we've just made due at night," said Harry Dyel.

Jon Dawson describes the whole situation as a mess.

"With the power out, there's not a whole lot you can do. So I try to keep busy during the day at home. Laundry's building up, dishes too. We do have water saved back just in case," said Dawson.

"I was a claims adjuster for a long time, and seeing a lot of damage around the county, but this is the worst I've seen around here by far," said Dyel.

Donald Collins and his wife spent the last two days cleaning up around their home, one still without power. But they've found a fix for the meantime.

"We suffered most of the day yesterday without power and I decided to bring the motor home home and plug my refrigerators and deep freeze into a generator and, believe it or not, I can run the air conditioner and still see the news," said Collins.

"We're just hanging in there and blessing the people who are going through it with us," said Dawson.

"What are you going to do if you have another day or two of this? 'I don't know I guess just sweat it out,'" said Dyel.

Some residents have been told it could be as late as Thursday before power comes back.