Public Service Commission
About 54,100 Without Power Due to Wind Storm - Ice storm restoration slowed by new bout of severe weather
About 54,100 Kentucky electric customers remain without power as the result of a severe wind storm that swept across the state yesterday, according to figures compiled by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).
That number is in addition to the 26,200 customers still without power due to last month’s massive ice storm. Nearly all of those are in western Kentucky.
Power outages statewide total 81,411 customers.
With wind gusts reported in excess of 70 miles per hour, yesterday’s storm knocked out power to at least 150,000 homes and businesses, according to reports received by the PSC from regulated utilities. Most of the wind damage was in the eastern half of the state.
Although the wind storm caused relatively few new outages in western Kentucky, electric providers are reporting that it hampered most restoration work yesterday. Saturated ground due to heavy rains is expected to slow restoration in some areas over the next few days.
About 742,500 (96 percent) of the nearly 770,000 customers who lost power at the peak of the ice storm had power restored before the wind storm arrived. It is unknown how many of the customers who lost power during the ice storm lost it again yesterday.
The latest outage numbers are:
Ice storm Wind storm Total
Jurisdictional utilities 16,923 54,083 71,006
TVA-served cooperatives 9,038 1,117 10,155
Municipal utilities 250 none 250
TOTAL 26,211 55,200 81,411
The numbers include utilities within the PSC’s jurisdiction as well as rural electric cooperatives within the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) system and municipal utilities. Information on the electric cooperatives was provided by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and on the municipal utilities by the Municipal Electric Power Association of Kentucky.
The PSC is urging residents affected by the wind storm to check electric connections and meters for damage. Damaged connections or meters must be repaired before power can be restored to a home or business.
Falling or sagging power lines may have damaged the connections between the utility company’s overhead line and a customer’s electric system. The connections are usually in the form of a masthead – a conduit connected to the service line – or, in older homes, an eyebolt which holds the line in place and an insulated line leading to the meter. In some cases, the meter or meter base may also be damaged.
Damaged or improperly repaired connections or meters could pose an electrical or fire hazard once power is restored.
“It is critical that damaged connections be repaired by a qualified professional and inspected before power is restored,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “In past outages, fires and severe damage have been caused by damaged or improperly repaired service connections.”
Repairing a service connection or meter base is the responsibility of the individual customer.
The meter base is the square or rectangular box on which the meter itself is mounted. It belongs to the property owner. The meter itself – the circular, glass-enclosed portion that attaches to the meter base - is the property of the utility company.
Residents SHOULD NOT attempt to remove any branches, limbs or trees that have fallen across or are in contact with service connections or other utility lines. Notify the utility to arrange for the debris to be removed.
The PSC also reminds customers using a generator for temporary electrical power to do so in a manner that insures their safety and the safety of those working to restore power.
“Getting everybody’s power restored after a storm of this magnitude and especially in these very difficult working conditions is going to take some time,” Armstrong said. “People need to be patient and, above all, remain safe.”
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.