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How Ameren and others are getting ready for record heat in St. Louis

Ameren and Cool Down St. Louis are getting ready for the heatwave this week.

ST. LOUIS — It's been a while since our air conditioners have had to run at full bore, but Tuesday is the day. To set your unit up for success, give the outdoor part a good rinse with the hose and check the indoor filter.

While we do that, Ameren is readying things on their end. 

"We're ready," said Ameren Missouri's Director of Distribution Operating, Lucas Klein. "We've seen these temperatures before of course, just not usually in May. We got our system put back together as it is for the summer peaks and we are ready to respond."

The 90s have been in the St. Louis forecast for about a week, which was a welcome heads up for the energy company. 

"Two great things about this forecast, one is it's in advance so we've known what's coming and planned ahead," Klein said. "We were able to get the system buttoned back up to be in one good piece. Another good thing is there aren't any storms forecast, so we don't have the combination of heat and severe weather, that's helpful."

Ameren is ready to keep those air conditioners running. Now the heat falls on us to stay cool.

Gentry Trotter organizes the St. Louis area's main utility outreach service, Cool Down St. Louis. 

"You have a responsibility of paying that utility bill. If you can't we'll be there for you and our partners will too". 

Cool Down St. Louis has a modest supply of air conditioners reserved for seniors and people with physical disabilities. To see if you qualify visit cooldownstlouis.org.

Typically, Cool Down St. Louis kicks off summer in June, with the warm weather Trotter said they've had to step things up early. 

"We have enough volunteers and we have enough partners, a consortium of 30 organizations to make sure throughout the metropolitan area and greater metropolitan area that you stay cool," he said.

His team is ready to assist with resources. Trotter said people with brick homes need to prioritize cooling. 

"In the next couple of days despite this cool little breeze, some of these homes are going to bake," he said.

Carl Carlton lives in one of those brick homes, but he says he's ready for it.

"This is going to be pretty good, just find a shade tree and sit back and let it happen."