Power line

Photo: NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

(WAND) - The amount of people without power in Illinois has dropped below 1,500 Thursday evening, according to Ameren. 

The same update said about 50 customers still didn't have power in Decatur as of 7 p.m. Ameren crews are still working to restore power to after strong storms knocked it out through the mid-section of the service territory.

Severe weather damaged or destroyed more than 230 transmission and distribution structures and poles along a wide band stretching more than 200 miles across.

“We began assessing the damages last night and have mobilized our crews to the hardest hit areas," said Ron Pate, senior vice president of Operations and Technical Services, Ameren Illinois.  "Additional line resources from our in-state utility partners and from out-of-state contractors are arriving to assist with restoration.  Our focus is on getting the power restored as quickly and safely as possible.”

As of 11:40 a.m., 8,400 customers were without power.

The company will be staffed around-the-clock to coordinate service restoration.

“We urge our customers to take precautions to protect themselves and their families, including staying away from downed power lines and immediately reporting any downed lines to Ameren Illinois," said Richard J. Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois.