KU Learning From Past Storms

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 3/02 7:46 pm

No one wants a repeat of 2003 and 2009.  Ice storms then left thousands of people without power, some for weeks and they caused millions of dollars in damage.

Mayor Gray said Lexington is more prepared.  He said these storms don’t happen often but when they do, he said the city learns from the experience.

He said it’s because of those lessons that the city is ready and hopefully people won’t lose power but if they do, it shouldn’t be for long.

“Lexington is prepared, now that doesn't mean things are going to be perfect,” said Mayor Gray. “Sometimes we learn that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Kentucky Utilities said it’s been getting ready for this storm in hopes of avoiding panic.

“You're in the wake of it, you realize wow maybe we should have staffed-up and muscled-up to respond to this,” said Cliff Feltham, a spokesman for Kentucky Utilities.  “One of the things we've learned over the course of all these storms is that you can't be too over prepared.”

In 2003 and 2009 KU called in extra help when it was needed but that was too late.

“It’s harder in that restoration process to get people in with the travel time and then deploy them than it is to have them in place when the storm starts,” said Feltham.

About 500 additional workers from out-of-state are already in Kentucky waiting until they are needed.

“You have the people in place first and if you don't need them you can just send them home,” said Feltham.

KU is trying to be over-prepared and boosting communication on the website, something that wasn’t around in 2003 and 2009.

“Our response time can be quicker because of the communication that is internally as well as externally,” said Feltham.

Despite all the preparation Kentucky Utilities says the biggest threat is still trees on power lines.

The lines themselves can handle around an inch of ice but with high winds expected, KU said branches and even full trees can fall on lines and knock out power.

KU asks customers to be patient.

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