Public Service Commission
KENTUCKIANS HELPING RESTORE POWER AFTER KATRINA
More than 600 Kentucky electric utility workers are helping to restore power to areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, according to a survey conducted by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).
“The PSC commends Kentucky’s utilities and their employees and contractors for responding so swiftly to this disaster,” PSC Chairman Mark David Goss said. “The recovery from Katrina cannot begin in earnest until power is restored, so these Kentucky workers are performing a truly vital function.”
The PSC surveyed regulated electric utilities to assess their personnel situation and determine whether adequate resources remain available in Kentucky. The hurricane relief effort should not have any effect on utility service in the state, the PSC found.
“Hurricane Katrina is a disaster of national magnitude, and every available resource should be committed to the recovery effort,” PSC Vice Chairman Teresa Hill said. “We are confident that Kentucky’s utilities have acted with both compassion and prudence when deciding how much they can contribute.”
Utilities typically assist each other following natural disasters. Hundreds of utility workers from other states helped restore power in Kentucky following the February 2003 ice storm and after severe storms during the summer of 2004.
“Providing mutual aid is a long-standing tradition among electric utilities,” PSC Commissioner Greg Coker said. “We can all be proud of the men and women from Kentucky who are continuing that tradition in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”
Utility workers from Kentucky have assisted in recovery efforts following many hurricanes, including the succession of storms that hit Florida last year. A number of workers were dispatched to Florida this year to assist in repairing electric systems damaged when Hurricane Katrina passed over that state before entering the Gulf of Mexico.
The following regulated electric utilities in Kentucky are currently providing personnel and equipment or have released contractor crews to assist in the restoration effort:
Utility Employees Vehicles Contractor Contractor
Louisville 46 20 223 120
Gas& Electric Co./
Kentucky Utilities Co.
Kentucky Power Co. 14 7 56 14
Union Light Heat 8 2 12 3
& Power Co.
Rural electric 105 62 193 98
TOTAL 173 91 484 235
In addition to electric utility workers, 25 BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. employees from Kentucky are being deployed to Mississippi to assist in restoring the company’s system in that state. They are expected to be in Mississippi through the end of the year.
The PSC is an agency within the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has approximately 110 employees.