KENTUCKY (AP) — Some residents in Kentucky and West Virginia could be spending several more days without power as crews work to fix broken utility poles and downed lines from a brutal ice storm.
What You Need To Know
- In the wake of over a week of winter storms, thousands in eastern Kentucky remain without power
- Crews are still working to fix broken poles and downed lines after a mid-February ice storm
- 33,000 Kentuckians had no power as of Sunday, with most expected to regain power by Wednesday
- West Virginia is in the same boat, with around 39,000 still having no power on Sunday
In Kentucky, about 31,000 customers remained without service Sunday, including more than 14,000 Kentucky Power customers in the eastern part of the state, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that tracks outages. The remainder of the outages were spread out among various electric cooperatives.
Most of the remaining Kentucky Power outages were in Boyd and Lawrence counties. More than 2,000 Kentucky Power employees, foresters and assessors were working to restore power. The utility estimated power to most customers should be back on by Wednesday, but later in some areas of Carter County.
More than 59,000 of the utility’s customers lost power in eastern Kentucky after the latest storm hit. Outages across the state peaked over 150,000 immediately following the ice storm.
On Sunday afternoon, the Kentucky Electric Cooperatives estimated 18,211 of its members were without power, though they said that total accounts for new outages as well.
"The number of members who have had their power restored is greater than this total indicates because this total also includes new outages caused by the snap back of branches & wires with thawing," they wrote on Twitter.
The energy situation is also dire in West Virginia, due in part to the mountainous terrain that stretches from eastern Kentucky through West Virginia.
Appalachian Power said about 39,000 customers in southern West Virginia were without electricity Sunday morning. Some homes have been without power since back-to-back ice storms Feb. 11 and Feb. 15. The utility planned to use helicopters and drones Sunday to identify problems in remote areas.
More than 50%, or about 13,000, of the utility’s customers in Wayne County were without power Sunday. An additional 10,000 customers had no service in Cabell County.
Outages peaked at 97,000 customers in southern West Virginia after the latest storm hit.
Power to most customers is expected to be restored by Tuesday, the utility said. Repairs were needed in at least 1,400 separate locations. Crews estimated that 550 broken poles and about 2,400 spans of wire must be replaced to return all customers to service.
The utility had more than 3,200 workers in the field trying to restore power, and 27 mobile bunkhouses were set up at a mall in Barboursville to house them. Area hotels also were filled to capacity.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.