HAZARD—Nearly 5,000 homes and businesses were without electricity Monday evening and into Tuesday morning this week after massive thunderstorms took the region by force.
Allison Barker, corporate communications representative for Kentucky Power, said in a press release from the company Tuesday morning that, as of 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, around 19,000 Kentucky Power customers were still without power—down from the peak of 32,000 late Monday night.
As of that same time, Perry County still had 4,199 customers without power, according to Barker.
“Kentucky Power crews are currently patrolling service areas and addressing outages as quickly as possible,” the release reads. “Critical customers, such as medical providers, are being addressed first.”
Around 320 crew members and contractors from outside of the service area will be assisting in restoring power across the region on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the release.
“Some crews are coming from as far away as South Carolina to help. Requests also have been made for additional crews from AEP sister companies in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, once outages in their areas have been addressed. Restoration efforts will likely be a multi-day effort.”
Flood advisories and warnings were issued for much of the region through Tuesday morning from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Local meteorologists have forecasted additional severe thunderstorms to his the region Tuesday evening, with the potential of 70 mph winds.
Governor Steve Brashear issued a state of emergency for the Commonwealth on Tuesday, which allows those areas hardest hit by the storms to apply for emergency aid funds.
Perry County Emergency Management Director Jerry Wayne Stacy said that after assessing damages across the county from Monday night’s storms on Tuesday morning, things could have ended up a lot worse.
“We got lucky, really, so far,” Stacy said.
Reports from areas in Johnson County and the surrounding areas have not been so heartening, with flash flooding hitting much of the region, and one person pronounced dead due to weather conditions.
In Perry County, Stacy said trees fell on a handful of homes, but he had not heard, as of early Tuesday morning, of any severe damage done.
Along with trees coming down, powerlines also fell across much of the county, causing much of the power outages. A transformer reportedly blew in the Upper Second Creek community Monday evening, during the beginning of the storms. Land and rock slides were also reported in the Fusonia community, the Right Fork of Maces Creek, and the Buckhorn area.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.