Friday, December 08, 2006


Yesterday afternoon, Steve called me after he got home and said the furnace wasn't working. When he went downstairs to check, the wire nuts were blackened and melted to the wires. So he called the furnace guy, who came right out.

WELL - - we had a MAJOR problem.

The furnace guy couldn't figure out why the wires were so hot, and our light bulbs were burning so brightly, and our outside pole light was about twice as bright as it should have been. He asked if we had noticed - - well hell, we had lived there all of SIX DAYS when the ice storm hit, so NO, we had NOT noticed anything unusual, because we didn't know what was supposed to be USUAL!!

When he went to the circuit box to check the feed into the house, he found the problem - - we were getting 276 volts into the house! HELLOOOOOO - - that's THREE PHASE POWER, folks - - which is NOT the SINGLE PHASE that should be coming into a residential unit . . .

He told Steve we were lucky the house had not caught fire (damn!) and recommended the whole house breaker be pulled, which Steve did. He then called Ameren and reported the situation - - they said they would file the report and send someone out.

WELL - - 2 hours later I get home, and there has still been no sign of Ameren, so I called to check on the status. The call center said they had our report, but bumped us up to "Emergency Status - Dangerous Situation", and that they would send someone out.

Two hours later, still no Ameren.

SO - - I went out looking for someone from Ameren to talk to about the situation - - found a guy by the Jasper Street facility and talked with him. He called in to the call center, and yes, they had our report, and no, they did not know when someone would be sent out.


Just then, he saw a supervisor. He told me to head back home and get in out of the cold, and he was going to talk to the supervisor and try to plead our case.

Yeah, right. He just wanted to say something to appease the crazy woman who wouldn't leave him alone.

I was wrong.

Thirty minutes later, this same guy pulled up in to our driveway to tell us that he had talked to the supervisor, who was going to try to get a lineman out to our area as soon as he could manage it.

This guy came all the way out to our house just to tell us that! Definitely above and beyond in my book.

We sat up in front of the kerosene heater until Midnight. No Ameren.

SO - - we piled all the couch cushions on the floor by the heater, put on MANY layers of clothing, and tried to get some sleep - - even though it got down to SEVEN DEGREES that night.

Yes - - I said SEVEN DEGREES.

I got up the next morning and went into work, again getting cleaned up and ready in the locker room. Steve stayed home, waiting for Ameren.

They finally showed up at 11:00 a.m.

That's TWENTY HOURS after we reported the problem!

Sorry - - but I think that's a bit much. Especially since it was a problem THEY caused!

Once Ameren got there and the power was back on, Steve called the furnace guy back, who came back out within minutes. (A side note - - this furnace guy also called Steve early this morning, just to check up on us, because he was really worried about us. As far as we are concerned, NO ON ELSE will EVER touch our furnace but this guy - - from this day forward!)

Once the furnace was fixed, Steve went checking out the rest of the house looking for any other problems. He discovered one of our two freezers would not work - - the compressor has bene totally fried. It would cost as much to repair it as it would to replace it, so we will be heading to Lowe's this evening to get a new one.

Steve also discovere that our power strip surge protectors are all fried and need to be replaced. But this is actually a good thing, because that saved all our TV's and computers!

AmerenIP is gonna hear from me about all this - - and it ain't gonna be pretty . . .

I'm pissed!

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