The area’s power company is preparing for freezing rain and the power outages they could bring this weekend through central Illinois, including the Pekin area.


Ameren Illinois announced Friday it has mobilized more than 750 field personnel and contractors and staged key equipment in areas that could receive the heaviest damage from the weather front, dubbed Winter Storm Jupiter, that was approaching from the western plains.


The company also is poised to call in an additional 1,000 linemen and workers from other Midwest utilities, it stated in a news release.


“We are committed to responding safety and effectively in icy conditions to restore electric and natural gas services for our customers,” said Ameren Illinois President Richard Mark.


The Peoria-Pekin area, on the northern edge of the storm’s flow, will be under a winter storm watch Saturday night through Sunday night, with the chance of icy rain beginning Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.


Saturday will bring a 20-percent chance of freezing rain and a high of 32 degrees. Chances for that weather, which could ice over power lines and tree limbs, will rise to 40 percent Sunday and Sunday night, with a daytime high of 34.


Monday will bring an 80 percent chance of rain and a high of 46 degrees, the weather service said.

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