15,000 still without power, most in Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Perry, Pike

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some 15,000 Kentucky Power customers are in their third day without electricity, the utility said late Wednesday night.

Perry, Pike, Letcher, Leslie, and Knott remain among the hardest hit with about 15,000 people still without power as of 10 a.m. Thursday. Initially, more than 62,000 were without electricity.

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Thousands will see power restored over the next few days as more than 1,500 people work on lines and poles. By Sunday, April 19, 95 percent of power should be restored, the utility said in a release.

Crews from AEP sister companies and other utilities have traveled from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia to assist.

As crews continue to make repairs, the damage is so significant that sections of the grid are being rebuilt.

The following counties are experiencing the majority of outages:

  • 970 customers in Floyd County   (Bypro, Martin, Weeksbury, Wheelwright and surrounding areas)
  • 2,563 customers in Knott County   (Hindman, Pippa Passes, Topmost, Pine Top and surrounding areas)
  •  3,397 customers in Leslie County (Hyden, Wooten, Stinnett and surrounding areas)
  • 3,362 customers in Letcher County  (Isom, Whitesburg and surrounding areas)
  • 3,543 customers in Perry (Hazard, Chavies and surrounding areas)
  • 1,410 customers in Pike County (South Pikeville, Shelbiana, Raccoon, Virgie, South Williamson, Phelps, McCarr, McAndrews and surrounding areas)

Customers can get specific estimated repair times at KentuckyPower.com or on the Kentucky Power app.

The utility will also continue to communicate additional guidance on social media as it becomes available in addition to its website and app. Or customers may call the 24/7 customer operations center at 1-800-572-1113,” the utility aid.

“Thousands of customers will have power restored over the next several days, but restoration for some could extend into early next week. Specific estimated restoration times will be available as more damage is assessed,” the utility said in a release.

In some cases, damage is in mountainous terrain and crews are having to carry equipment in by hand, the utility said.

As crews are out making repairs, the damage numbers continue to climb and some sections of the distribution grid are being rebuilt:

— 220 broken power poles, with damage to associated equipment. And this number is expected to climb.

— More than 500 of spans of distribution wire damaged. In addition, 18 large spans of transmission wires damaged and 11 are repaired.

— Fifteen substations lost their transmission feed but all have been restored.

More than 1,000 company and business partners are responding to restore power, according to Kentucky Power.

Kentucky Power works to restore power using the most efficient means possible.

First, crews address outage cases that affect hospitals, emergency services, public safety facilities, public buildings, emergency shelters and other public utilities. After that, crews address residential and business/commercial customers.

Outages that affect higher numbers of customers without power are typically addressed before outages affecting fewer customers. The idea is to restore service to the greatest number of customers as quickly as possible.

Consequently, outage cases that affect small groups or single customers are addressed later in the restoration effort. Power restoration crews work until all customers have power restored.

Customers can report outages and check the latest restoration information for their account anytime at kentuckypower.com/outages or by downloading the Kentucky Power mobile app at kentuckypower.com/app. 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.

Customers also can get specific information about outages 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.