Frustration Grows As Storm Power Outages Persist

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jul 22, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Thousands of frustrated customers are waking up Sunday to find they still are without power, two days after powerful storm raked the region. And Kentucky Utilities says some customers might not see the lights come on before late Tuesday night.

As of noon Sunday, KU was reporting more than 30,000 customers system-wide remained without power. In Fayette County alone, nearly 15,000 customers were still in the dark.

A Lexington resident who lives of Pimlico Parkway on the city’s south side tells LEX 18 that she was told Sunday morning not to expect the power to be restored before Tuesday night.

"My frustration is, every time I’ve called (KU), I’ve been given a different time," she said.

KU spokesman Daniel Lowry said the outage is the most severe event the utility has dealt with since the devastating ice storm of 2003.

He said back then 119,000 customers lost power and it took 10 days to restore power. 

"We’re hoping to beat that response by several days," Lowry said.

But he noted the job this time is nearly as large. Lowry said Friday’s storm knocked down more than 1,000 wires and killed power to about 80,000 customers. 

In several messages on KU’s official Twitter account, the utility acknowledged the restoration was "taking longer than usual," saying it was one of the worst storms in recent memory.

KU said to report downed wires at 800-981-0600.

Among the worries related to the extended outage are vulnerable elderly or ill populations.

To that end, Lexington officials said people without electricity experiencing non-emergency medical needs should call 859-258-3600.

“These are people whose health is dependent upon electricity,” Ken Armstrong, the city’s commissioner of Public Safety, said in a statement. “The City’s Division of Emergency Management will connect them with the resources they need.”

Anyone with an emergency should still call 911.

KU officials say that its crews are working 16-hour shifts, and that crews also are being brought in from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Some people in Lexington say this outage reminds them of the 2003 ice storm, but they’re thankful this time the weather isn’t too extreme.

"It was really bad then. We were burning fire in the fire place trying to keep warm, but we survived," said Ted Tudor.

The National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes touched down in Kentucky on Friday night; one in Hart County and one in Metcalfe County.