With a total of more than 125,000 customers impacted, the ice storm that hit Kentucky Wednesday night ranks among the top 10 storms LG&E and KU has witnessed in its history, said a spokeswoman for the utilities. Roughly 74,000 customers in the state are still without power.
A review of LG&E and KU’s outage map Thursday afternoon shows that well over 60,000 customers in the Louisville region are without power. Chris Whelan of LG&E and KU stated that while the service interruptions are scattered, neighborhoods with tree limbs near power lines were the hardest hit as ice weighed the limbs down.
Whelan said that they’ve had more than 1,000 wires down across their service areas in Kentucky, and they expect that number to rise even further as ice melts and limbs begin to spring back up into power lines.
LG&E and KU does not have a time estimate for when power will be returned to most customers, Whelan said, calling power outages related to ice storms the most complex and time-consuming to restore and noting the widespread nature of the storm.
“We have a large number of limbs and trees on our lines which must be removed before we can begin to restring our wires,” Whelan said in an emailed statement. “Additionally, ice is covering the equipment and in some cases needs to be chipped away. We are fully staffed with crews working to restore service to those impacted and are also communicating with mutual assistance partners to expect additional restoration resources to be here later today and tomorrow as well.
“We appreciate customers’ patience and are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service to those customers impacted,” she added.
The temperature in Louisville is expected to remain below freezing until just before noon on Friday.