Thousands of people in Eastern Kentucky still without power 48 hours after strong winds

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ASHLAND, Ky. (WTVQ)- As of Tuesday, April 14th at 8 p.m. Kentucky Power says approximately 32,000 customers are still without power after strong winds late Sunday night, April 12th.

The utility says at the peak, 62,449 customers lost power with more than 27,000 of those customers in and around Hazard.

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Crews are still finding damage. They say many areas are difficult to access with trucks and are mountainous and rugged. They say as of Tuesday evening they have found:

140 broken power poles, with damage to associated equipment.

More than 500 of spans of distribution wire damaged.

18 large spans of transmission wires damaged;  all but eight repaired.

15 substations lost their transmission feed. Ten of those have been restored and are back in service, enabling circuit work to begin.  The remaining station are expected to be restored tonight or early on Wednesday.

The utility says nearly 500 people are working to fix outages and about 300 more, including people from other states, will arrive to help Wednesday and Thursday.

Kentucky Power asks you not approach anyone working in the field because of social distancing guidelines.

More than 50% of customers who lost power had it back within 48 hours, according to the utility, but about 32,000 are still waiting and restoration for some could extend into early next week.

The following counties are experiencing the majority of the outages:

  • 500 customers in Breathitt County (Jackson, Haddix and surrounding areas)
  • 2,800 customers in Floyd County   (Bypro, Martin, Weeksbury, Wheelwright and surrounding areas)
  • 5,274 customers in Knott County   (Hindman, Pippa Passes, Topmost, Pine Top and surrounding areas)
  • 5,232 customers in Leslie County (Hyden, Wooten, Stinnett and surrounding areas)
  • 5,632 customers in Letcher County  (Isom, Whitesburg and surrounding areas)
  • 8,660 customers in Perry (Hazard, Chavies and surrounding areas)
  • 6,357 customers in Pike County (South Pikeville, Shelbiana, Raccoon, Virgie, South Williamson, Phelps, McCarr, McAndrews and surrounding areas)

If you need to report an outage or track information on fixing it, you can visit kentuckypower.com/outages or download the app at kentuckypower.com/app. You can also report outages to Kentucky Power’s Customer Operations Center at 1-800-572-1113.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!