Ameren crews are still working to repair downed wires and snapped utility poles that cut the power for tens of thousands of customers on both sides of the river.
Ameren opened its Emergency Operation Center at 5 p.m. Thursday in order to coordinate the utility's response to wind-related power outages. At the peak, the untility reported more than 17,000 metro-east customers were without power and more than 43,000 Missouri customers were in the dark.
Thousands in north St. Louis county could be waiting another day or more before their power is restored after strong winds brought down trees and snapped power poles.
At 1:40 a.m. Friday, Ameren was reporting just over 13,000 St. Louis area customers in Missouri were still without power. The vast majority of them were in St. Louis County. Just over 1,400 remained in the dark in Illinois.
Ameren's sale of five Illinois coal-fired power plants to Dynegy, Inc. will likely close next month. That after the Illinois Pollution Control board on Thursday granted Dynegy permission to defer the installation of multi-million dollar pollution controls for five years.
Ameren had agreed to the improvements years ago, but said approval of the environmental variance was a condition of the sale.
In a 3-1 vote, state regulators decided that forcing Dynegy to install the soot scrubbers immediately would "impose an arbitrary and unreasonable hardship."
The company that's taking over Ameren's coal-fired power plants in Illinois wants to take over their 5 year pollution waiver as well.
Dynegy Inc. agreed to acquire the plants six months after the Illinois Pollution Control Board granted a variance giving Ameren more time to meet stricter air pollution limits at their central and southern Illinois plants.
Ameren and Dynegy are expected to argue that the subsidiary formed to acquire the plants can't afford the costly pollution controls in a depressed power market, and would have to close some plants if a waiver isn't granted.