Wind, flooding blamed for power outages across eastern Kentucky

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ASHLAND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Power continues to restore outages caused by Sunday’s wind storm on the heels of heavy rains on Saturday.

Crews have faced mudslides and rockslides, as well as flooding and high water. Trees have toppled, bringing down power lines. Multiple poles and cross arms are broken and other equipment has been damaged. Both distribution and transmission structures have been affected.

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Strong winds are expected to continue to batter Kentucky Power’s service area through Sunday night into Monday with gusts up to 30 mph. Soft, wet soils from the recent rain is contributing to the outages.

The saturated ground allows trees to fall more easily onto power lines. Mudslides, flooding and high water has hampered assessment and repair efforts in some areas, especially those served by the Pikeville District. A few areas are only accessible by boat.

About 360 Kentucky Power employees and contractors are responding to assess damage, make repairs and restore service.

As many as 9,100 customers have been affected. New outages continue to occur even as some customers are restored because of the weather. Estimated times for power restoration are uncertain under current weather conditions.

Most customers served by the Hazard and Pikeville districts should have electric service by late Monday, while some Ashland outages could extend until late Tuesday because of multiple broken poles requiring multiple crews to repair. Outages in more remote areas also could extend past Monday.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, about 5,000 customers were without power.

  • Boyd, 300
  • Breathitt, 820
  • Carter, 75
  • Clay, 10
  • Floyd, 373
  • Greenup, 238
  • Johnson, 176
  • Knott, 6
  • Lawrence, 358
  • Leslie, 592
  • Letcher, 169
  • Lewis, 10
  • Magoffin, 207
  • Martin, 34
  • Morgan, 5
  • Owsley, 16
  • Perry, 156
  • Pike, 1,469
  • Rowan, 6

A snapshot view of current outages affecting five customers or more is available anytime at kentuckypower.com/outages. The outage map is updated every 15 minutes. Restoration information is added when known. Click on “View Outage Map” to access the map on a computer, cell phone, or tablet. Customers can report outages online, on their mobile device or to our Customer Operations Center at 1-800-572-1113.

Outages also can be reported via the Kentucky Power mobile app. The app can be downloaded free at both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Customers can get specific information about the outages affecting their accounts via text message and/or email by subscribing to Kentucky Power outage alerts. To sign up, please visit www.kentuckypower.com/alerts. Information also is posted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyPower and on Twitter at twitter.com/KentuckyPower or @KentuckyPower.

Customers should treat all downed lines as live power lines and stay away from them. Never touch downed power lines or sparking equipment. Keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.

Customers can take practical steps to stay safe during outages by assembling an emergency kit with flashlights and fresh batteries; candles, matches, or lighters; water for drinking and cooking; canned goods and a manual can opener; and other supplies. A mobile cell phone charger also is useful. Additional safety tips are posted at https://kentuckypower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.