1:10pm

Mon March 5, 2012
The Commonwealth

Power Restoration in Tornado Hit Areas

It could be a week before some portions of Kentucky again have electricity.  Major portions of eastern Kentucky remain without power.  Public Service Commission spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says the most widespread power outages remain in Morgan and Magoffin counties.  But, in both communities, power will be restored, but, many of the people and homes that use it are gone.  “You’ll have the electrical system restored before you’ve got habital structures that need to have the power turned back on, quite honestly…that’s the sad truth of this situation,” said Melnykovych.

 The storms caused the deaths of 21 people in Kentucky.  Melnykovych says power could be restored to many hard hit areas by week’s end.

“And obviously that’s gonna be important in terms of the reconstruction work…because people will be able to have temporary meters set up so if you need the power to work on rebuilding or repairing a home or a business…the power will be available,” added Melnykovych.

It’s not just downed power lines which pose safety risks in heavily damaged regions of Kentucky.  Portable generators are also risky.  Carbon monoxide emitted by the generators can sicken and kill users.

“The safety concerns we would have now are those folks who don’t have power, who may be using generators to either power their homes or using some sort of a portable heater to heat their homes…I can’t emphasize enough that those need to be used properly,” said Melnykovych.

Melnykovych says the total number of homes without power related to the tornado is now less than ten thousand.  However, heavy, wet snow in eastern Kentucky has caused almost nine thousand new outages.