(Editor’s note: Information for this article was taken from a press release sent by Allison Barker of Kentucky Power.)
Multiple bands of strong thunderstorms with flooding rains moved through Kentucky Power’s service territory on Thursday, leaving nearly 19,000 without service. Although some progress was made in restoration efforts, each new band created additional outages. Continuous heavy rains also led to flooding, which prevented restoration crews from accessing some locations. The storms have damaged and knocked down multiple poles and spans of wire.
Nearly 170 contractors are aiding about 160 Kentucky Power employees as they respond to hazards, outages and other emergencies. Crews from less affected Kentucky Power areas will be moved to harder hit areas as service is restored.
As of 11:15 a.m., power had been restored to nearly 10,500 of Kentucky Power’s customers. About 8,500 customers remain without service, mainly in Breathitt, Floyd, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Martin, Perry and Pike counties. Whitesburg area customers should see service restored by 4:00 p.m. Friday. Paintsville area customers and Ashland District customers, including those in Lawrence County, should see power restored by midnight Friday. South Williamson area customers should have service by 4:00 p.m. Saturday. Power to customers served by the Pikeville District, including those in Floyd, Martin and Pike counties, as well as the Hazard District, including Breathitt, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties, could take until midnight Saturday to restore.
A snapshot view of current outages affecting 100 customers or more is available anytime at www.kentuckypower.com. Outages affecting fewer than 100 customers do not appear on the map but will be addressed as soon as possible. Go to the Outages and Problems section of the site and click “View Outage Map.” Customers can report outages online or to the Kentucky Power Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-572-1113.
This update provides a broad overview of Kentucky Power’s restoration efforts. 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, visit www.kentuckypower.com/alerts. Information also is posted on Facebook at facebook.com/KentuckyPower.
Wind storms and flooding rains can cause many downed power lines.Never touch downed power lines or sparking equipment. Keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch. Also, never remove debris within 10 feet of a power line. Customers can report hazards and outages to the Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-572-1113. Additional safety tips are posted at kentuckypower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.
When welcoming the group of nearly 80 gathered Tuesday in Hazard, Ron Daley and Paul Green, both with the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC), shared the important role K-12 education is already playing to impact economic development in east Kentucky.
“While we make great progress in many areas, we haven’t moved forward like many of other regions” Ron shared, referencing the evolving Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) map of economic designations of counties. Eastern Kentucky continues to house the largest block of economically distressed “red” counties, as bordering states have seen greater shifts.
The common regional issues of counties and sectors working in silos, as well as the lack of sustainable development supported by coal severance funds, were all sited as challenges to overcome through collaboration in seeking federal funding and targeted regionalism.
Hazard Community & Technical College’s new President Jennifer Lindon shared how proud she was to host this convening at HCTC. “I’m really happy to see people coming together regionally to talk about how we compete globally.” She also gave special thanks to the elected leaders in attendance. State Representatives John Short and Cluster Howard, Mayors, Judge-Executives, and U.S. Representative Hal Roger’s local Field Representative Nick Camick all participated in the event.
Current work, federal funding, and regional collaboration opportunities are featured in the video below, presented by Bob Scott of the Ky Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program, Commissioner of Department of Local Governments Sandra Dunahoo, Barry Turner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Promise Zone Director Sandi Curd. Quotes from their presentations and more can be found on KVEC’s twitter.
Everyone shared their name, communities, and projects or interests during a working lunch and spent the last hour networking among each other. In closing, Paul Green reminded of KVEC’s national recognition as an Educational Innovation Custer for bridging the historical educational silos, like those throughout our communities, limiting districts from collaboration and sharing successes. He expanded that K-12 is the only entity in our communities who interact with every child and are already training the upcoming workforce.
Allison Barker is the Corporate Communications Manager for Kentucky Power.